Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Four Hour Dinner With My Sister

Last night my dear "sister" and I went to dinner with her 6 week old daughter. It was my birthday dinner and we ended up at the Cheesecake Factory. Both of had always wanted to go, neither of us had ever had the opportunity to go before and SHE had not one but TWO gift cards. Let me give you some background into our relationship... between teh two of us we have 10 children, we both are SAHM and care for other children as well (I watch my 2 nieces for 3 days a week and she watches 1 little girl full time and 2-3 after school kids), we try to keep in touch via hour long phone calls with the most amusing and often "screechy" interuptions and we do Facebook each other. It's what we have and it works for us... we cling to the hope that ONE day we will be sitting peacefully in each other's homes, sipping tea, enjoying homebaked goods, chatting about our grown children and THEIR families. But for now we share in the good, the bad, and insanity of motherhood, being wives, daughters, sisters, and friends. We listen, talk, interupt each other, cry, and laugh with and at each other sometimes. It's what keeps us going. I absolutely adore her and am eternally grateful to have her in my life. (my husband concurs whole heartedly on this) So this leads us to our evening out last night. First off they sat us in this huge corner booth. It was glorious to have so much room. We ate just enough to enjoy our meal and still had room for CHEESECAKE. That in itself was wonderful... but it was better because we got to TALK, share with each other and LISTEN, REALLY listen to each other. I felt so revitalized. to be able to talk and share with another woman who could understand and relate to your feelings and thoughts is absolutely a blessing. We talked about our children, our husbands, our mutual friends, our hopes for our futures, our frustrations, all of it and it was so nice to just be able to have that companionship that is so fragile and infrequent these days. We wondered about why it is that there are so many classes, books and people eager to "help" when you are expecting your first child. So much advice. Now our oldest children are both 12 years old and we look around and there are NO classes, books and people eager to "help". At best a "you'll get through this" or the dreaded "It only gets WORSE." YIKES! I did not understand 12 year old boys when I was 12 years old and now I certainly do NOT understand this 12 year old boy living with us. How do we deal with "mean girls" when our daughters are between 10 and 12... and beyond and goodness sometimes even younger. I am also dealing with a daughter who we adopted at the age of nine months old who has definite signs of attachment disorder. I am no expert... having brought this subject up amongst the sweetest, misguided and just did not understand the issue ladies.... I can't explain it... by all means google it for yourself and then maybe you will begin to understand the insanity that attachment disorders brings into your life and that of your family. Her behaviours are mostly directed at me. (which is normal) The emotions that get brought out of feeling rejected, what am I not doing right, why isn't my love ENOUGH, my goodness she was SO young how could an infant be so hurt, (you would be surprised at just HOW incredibly crucial the first year of life is to all of us and how much our entire foundation is built during this short time), I know I'm a good mom (look at my other 4 kids) so why doesn't she love me... I love her so incredibly much. WHAT happened to her that left this hole in her heart that I can't seem to fill. What is this doing to my family? What is this doing to my marriage? I digress... having a sister to share this all with who does not judge my thoughts, words or actions, but leads me back to our Lord and handing the relationship back over to him. Reminding Me that I can not do this without his love and grace. The whole Let Go and Let God... it is good to be reminded of it especially during the stormy days.

So we talk about our marriages. How we can better love our husbands. How they could show their love to us better. How wonderful it is that they care enough about our friendship that they are home with our children so we can have this special time together.
We talk about feeling invisible... if we really did take off for California or some other warm place would they really care. How long would it be before they noticed? Does what we do even matter? Women who work outside of the home... they get to have that sense of accomplishment at least at work. You have a task, your work on it, it gets completed. As a SAHM you do not get that. Every single task before us, gets worked on, gets interupted, gets side tracked, but never truly gets checked off the TO DO list because there are always more dishes to be washed or put away, same with laundry, the floors are constantly in need of a sweeping, vacuuming or down right scrubbing, there are spills, dust bunnies, unidentifiable items under the cushion of the couch, it goes on and on and on but there is no end. NO completed tasks. Then I mentioned that at least we get to spend so much time with our children. but there are days when I prefer to escape on my computer, facebook, reading or television. I just don't want to deal with the mundane, everyday bickering or major decisions like what are we having for lunch, what can we watch on television, I don't know where my socks are or I can't find any pants. (although mommy always seems to find at least 3 pairs of pants for you to choose from and maybe onot always an even number of socks or matching socks but I can always come up with TWO socks for you to wear... heck I can find TEN socks for the FIVE of them on some days) Somedays I think there has to be something MORE to my life. I am an intelligent, funny sometimes creative person. There has got to something more that I can do with my life. But then what more is there really? Is there really anything more rewarding than raising our children and loving our husbands. To support them as they grow into the young adults that will eventually be having families of their own. To help them through the awkward, confusing, exciting journey of becoming the wonderful person God has made them to be. We can stand in the way or help them get where they are going. To be a mother is truly a gift. So we don't get anything really ever FINISHED. oh well. We must not get bogged down in that and keep reminding ourselves and EACH other that we are doing a wonderful job. Personally I did not have supportive, loving, parents. They had their own problems and there just was not much left for them to give to cherishing the person that I was and was growing to be. But now I get to do just that with my own children.

We have a friend in common that was in a terrible car accident on Monday. Her four children and grandmother were in the car with her. Her grandmother passed away the next morning due the injuries she sustained in the accident, one of her children have a broken arm and she has head injuries. The whole thing is just stunning. How much can one family take? Why did this happen? NOT WHY technically >>>> but why did God allow this to happen? My sister and I talked about this at length. How one moment can change an entire family forever. It's too personal to write about here. I'm not sure anyone will really ever read this but it's not something to be shared here just in case.

One very practical thing that my sister shared with me was her new chore charts for her children. They have been using this one for 3 weeks now and it seems to be working. We have had several variation of chore charts and motivational charts or keeping us on task charts throughout the past 6 or so years. I think when the kids started school the charts started. They include everything from personal hygiene (that is so not spelled correctly... OOOH I see the ABC check above... yeah), school specials of the day (like gym, art etc), morning tasks, after school tasks, chores and attitude. This conversation has lead to Rob and I putting together a similar chart for our children. The goal is to prioritize things for our days. The categories are for morning, chores, school/home work and behavior. These four areas need a sticker BEFORE there is any talk of playing, computers, WII or PS2. My sister and I also discussed "pajama days". We both had thoughts that one of the fun parts of homeschooling is being able to wear your pajamas all day sometimes. Well yes and no. We've both discovered that a child in his or her pajamas is not very likely to take his or her school work very seriously. So now getting dressed is right up there with brushing your teeth every morning. It's just one of those things that gets us ready to do the work we need to do. If you have ever heard of FLY LADY she has a similar theory. Getting dressed to the shoes everyday needs to be apart of our daily routine. I'm still not sold on wearing shoes in our home but the pj's have to go. (most of the time)

It was a FOUR hour dinner so the conversation drifted in many directions. These are just some of the directions it went in. It was 9:20 when we left the restaurant. We were quite surprised and realized that we really should do this again sometime soon. Happily her birthday is coming up in April. My sister gave me the most lovely birthday card... to her "sis" and an angel with "sisters are forever friends" engraved on her dress. She is the ONLY person in the world to give me cards and sign it from my sister. I am always delighted and reassured of our relationship when SHE lets me know that she truly considers me her sister too. She will never know how much of a gift she is to me... my heart has a very special place just for her. She truly is my sister and I am forever thankful for that.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chocolates, doilies, bad guys, and SOCCER! Not to mention a marriage proposal.

You just gotta love Valentine's day when you have kids in your life. the pressure for significant others to make the day special can really make it not so special... but with kids my goodness. Helen and Logan brought me breakfast in bed. Frosted Flakes with milk and a can of Pepsi Max place in my coffee mug. I felt the love. The home made cards and even the little valentines from a box. My 2 youngest boys gve me (and Rob) some that they made in Royal Rangers on Wednesday night. They had characters on them from Little Soldiers... I've never seen it but I absolutely love these cards. Nate chose one with a bad guy on it (of course) and a maze (of course too) on the back that he thoughtfully did for me. Logan chose a good guy (of course) with a crossword on the back that HE filled out for me (using the answers that were given if you turned the card upside down). The letters were all backwards which worried me until he explained he didn't know how to spell the words so he had to look and that is when I understood that by looking at them upside down they very well could be backwards. I love that the boys' valentines had no frills or doilies. They were so obviously from them it was fabulous. I did get doilys from the girls. Helen even made a valentine for her siblings. (this was huge and very sweet of her) Rob gave me a chocolate Dove Rose, a package of Lindt Chocolates (he DID read the 25 random things about me on Facebook!) and a lovely card. He also got 4 of the kids heart boxes of chocolates. Justin does not like chocolates so he will get a special treat the next time we are out. I had made brownies though so he did get to enjoy them. (He DOES eat some chocolate things... I never could figure it out)

Today was the first day of Indoor Recreational soccer. From 3 - 9:30 Rob is at soccer. I did help coach the under 6 kids. I love these kids. They are so much fun... and to be honest I am scouting for my summer team. I like a balance of kids who "get it" with the kids who are interested and want to play but just never played before. Attitude is a big deal with me too. I don't like having mean kids on my team. Parents are the other big thing with me. I like to have nice parents who support their kids, encourage them to play and are not TOO competetive. Yes, I know I'm out scouting for a team for under 6 year olds but I'm not that competitive. I like having a team that wins some and loses some games. It's hard playing a team that yours is running allover. It's sad for the other team and hard to play against. It's also hard to be the team that gets trampled on. It's not fun to lose all of the time. It's more fun going into the game fairly evenly paired and seeing what the kids have learned from the practices. It's an awesome thing to see a kid actually put into play some new skill that you taught them. It's awesome to see some kids just kick the ball for the first time. That FIRST goal a kid makes... the look on their faces! Watching a kid that was timid or just didn't seem to "get it" last year and then you work with them and they mature and suddenly they get it and start really playing. They LOVE soccer and you had a part in making it FUN for them. That's cool.

Our youngest son has been talking about marrying me lately. He proposed to me again today at soccer. I just love him and his plans. "I want to marry you mommy"... what a sweet thing to hear. That's one of the wonders of having 5 children. Between them all we get to hear so many amazing things. I love hearing "huggy" when a child has their arms outstretched. The awkward "I love you mom" from my oldest son as he leans over me (I'm usually on the computer when he says it) and gives me a hug that doesn't always qualify as a hug but more like this leaning in close never really touching awkward thing he does that I just cherish.

I'm tired again... what a busy day. Oh but before I go I forgot to mention LUNCH. Logan has started watching Jon and Kate plus 8 with me during the day sometimes. He is quite taken with all those little kids in one family. They showed the Valentine's one yesterday. So today he mentions lunch and in his very evasive way mentions heart shaped food. You know like on that "KAREN AND JAKE plus 8" show. So off I go to make heart shaped panakes for lunch. I didn't have a cookie cutter handy and thought I'd just cut them with a butter knife into the desired heart shape thane I found a heart shaped tube bread loaf that I sprayed with PAM and used it to cut the pancakes after they were turned over. The children were delighted, Rob was impressed and I was just happy to be able to come up with a way to do it for them. I ate the left over pieces from the cut out hearts. (they were just as good)

I am tired still and now I want to go hang out with the 4 kids that are here (Rob and Justin are still at soccer). Happy Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Welcome to the world of special services available for OR NOT for homeschoolers

Nate had a screening for kindergarten @ LSC. (the school that Justin, Megan and Helen attend) Helen had the kindergarten teacher last year and I was looking forward to her thoughts on Nate. She believes that there is something else going on with him besides the speech issue. For instance he is left handed and when he writes he'll trace what he is writing (letters, shapes, numbers) with his right hand while writing with the left. She's never seen anyone do that before either. So he has these fine motor things going on but at the same time he is amazing at video games and on the computer, which also are small motor skills. He has a young gait but can dance very well. It's all these little things that don't make sense that makes her believe Nate should have a complete screening. I have put in a call to the local public school district to sign him up for kindergarten screening there as well. As a homeschooler the laws have changed as far as services for Special need students go. The best I can tell is that previously home schools were considered "private schools" so the home school district legally had to provide services for children with special needs. The wording has changed from "private school" to non public school for home schools so now they no longer need to provide services. There are many issues that I have with this... not the least of which is that some students are home schooled BECAUSE the student is better off home for any number of reasons. Each situation is individual but there are plenty of reasons why a parent would want to homeschool a child with special needs. Now they have reworded it so that you either have to pay for private specialists to come to your home or send your child to either public or private school to obtain the services. So we are looking into all three options for Nate. Welcome to the world of special services and homeschooling. What really bugs me about this is that we pay school taxes. We pay for our children's books and supplies for home schooling. The school does not even offer bussing for our kids in private school (the distance is too far). Nate and these other students have real needs but have to attend PUBLIC school or private school to obtain them. Where is the needs of the kids put first. I worked in the local public school and my oldest two childern did attend the school for awhile. There were many reasons why we decided the public school was not the best choice for them individually or our family. So now we are taking our first steps into this new world. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The love of a 5 year old

Nathan is my five year old son. He is the youngest of 5 children in our family. He was our "shock" baby after Logan was our "surprise". (we were already in the process of adoping our second daughter when a trip to Vegas brought us our "surprise" with Logan. Nate was a "shock" because those 2 little blue lines came a year after my dear husband "took care of that". WE are that 1 in 3,000 who do get pregnant afterwards.)

He is my absolute love. He tells me that he wants to marry me. One time I asked why and he told me because I'm "adorable." Who wouldn't melt. "Adorable" is not a word used to describe me often (ever?) but when he looked up at me with those big blue eyes and announced me adorable I just believed him. That's how it is with 5 year old little boys. Don't get me wrong this is the same little guy who did not potty train until he was just past his 4th birthday. I realize this is still in the "range" of normal pottying but after 4 children before him all stopped using diapers at the age of 3 I was beside myself. What had I done wrong this time? This child could not be bribed with stickers, candy, money NOTHING. So we backed off realizing that THIS child was going to dance (and potty train) to his own drummer. Eventually he did and we are now a year without diapers. YEAH! (this is the snoopy dance that I am doing) Speaking of which Nate is an amazing dancer and LOVES to play Indiana Jones on the PS3. He made video games an aerobic work out long BEFORE the WII came along. He works up a sweat moving and dodging with the joystick in hand as he fights off invaders of all kinds.

Today we are taking him to a speech/audiologist to find out what is going on with his speech. He still sounds like a "little boy" like a 2 or 3 year old. He is talking with the vocabulary of a 5 year old but it is very difficult to understand... not to mention not in a big boy tone. Even children his own age think he is younger because of the way he talks. Sadly this means they often want to play with his older brother Logan in stead. Homeschooling him has become a challenge because he can not make all of the letter sounds or pronounce words clearly. He gets very frustrated so we focus on what he can do well, mazes, numbers, cutting with scissors (he's left handed too). He has an incredible imagination to boot. He says coloring is "boring". He's much too busy for that but give the child a maze and he'll carefully work it out. I can't wait to find out the results of the testing today. Although I love the way he calls me "adorable", I'd REALLY love to know all of the wonderful things he is trying to tell me and the rest of us.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Introducing the Scott family

So here's my first time stepping into the world of blogging. I figure introductions are always a good place to start so here it goes. I am Debbie Scott. Now how to describe myself... let's see I am Rob's wife of 14 years and I am mom to 5 amazing children. I am sure you'll be getting to know them pretty well since they continuously give me fodder to write about. Our oldest son is Justin, who is in seventh grade and is now attending school again after 5 1/2 years being homeschooled. Megan is in fifth grade and is enjoying being in a school setting for the first time since January of her kindergarten year. Helen is 7 and is in 1st grade. She started kindergarten at LCS and has greatly benefitted from being there. Logan is also 7 and is being home schooled. Helen and Logan are 3.5 months apart in age and we feel it is better for them to be separated in school, especially since they are in the same grade and if they both attended LCS they'd be in the same class. (only one class per grade up until 7th grade) Nathan is 5. He is also being homeschooled. Tomorrow we are taking him to be tested for audiology and speech. He is smart as a whip but his speech is very difficult to understand. We are looking forward to the results of his tests.

Currently I am a SAHM. I homeschool my two youngest boys and three of our children attend a private Christian school. I watch two of my nieces ages 2 1/2 and 1, three days a week. After finally getting past the diaper stage (we had 3 in diapers for a while there and Nathan waited until the age of 4 to start using the potty) I am enjoying spending time playing with blocks, reading little board books with them on my lap and discussing important issues like if sissy needs her diaper changed.

All of our children play soccer, some play t ball, and Megan played basketball until this week when she injured her knee.

Now we are getting ready for the Superbowl. Not as much enthusiasm this year in the Scott household. Now LAST year was a different story. I am so thankful that our children were able to see the GIANTS win the superbowl. What an amazing day! So this year it is the Cardinals and the Steelers. All I know of the Steelers is that Gary Campbell and John Pulglesie in my 3rd grade class were huge fans and both wore Steeler sweaters for their class pictures. My husband ended up going to college with Gary. (small world) All I know about the Cardinals is that they are in Arizona and it is warmer there than it is here in upstate NY. The glare off the ice in the fields behind our house are BLINDING today. So that's my big mention of the Super Bowl.