Saturday, November 23, 2019

School, a Move and Football

It was a unique week in our world. We had Tuesday out of school so teachers could gather in Indianapolis to protest unfair funding, testing and policies in education. We used the day to shop for Ty's angel tree kid and the homeless project our church supports. It was a pretty good day.

Wednesday Ty started a new school. The decision was brutal but necessary. I love my job and am keeping it but Ty's anxiety toward school escalated to the point we felt we had to try a change. So far, he loves it. Our district has intense academic standards and teaches to insure strong performance in standardized testing. The smaller school focuses more on kid-friendly approach and a well-rounded experience. We initially toured the other public school during our fall break as a potential option for next year but Ty saw the freedom and decided he wanted the change immediately. We had resisted because he and I were on the same schedule and I worried it would be uncomfortable for me to stay after transferring Ty. My principal has been supportive and has asked about Ty daily. He has made new friends, experienced Pioneer Day where he churned butter he has raved about since and seems much happier about going to school despite the earlier start to his day.
This darn dog knows she isn't allowed on the furniture but sometimes cannot help herself. Kate said, "get". Layla heard, "sit".........

Kate made it halfway through her school day twice this week. She missed Tuesday for the protest and Wednesday for a headache. We are hoping for longer days on Monday and Tuesday before taking a few days off for Thanksgiving. God willing she will resume a normal schedule after that.

Lauren, while living in a hotel with the dog and Austin fell and rolled her ankle. She suffered for 30 hours before conceding on an x-ray and earning herself a walking boot. She and Taylor finally left Texas today. They were quite ready to go and hope to have their belongings by Thanksgiving. Rumor has it they will spend Lauren's favorite holiday at Cracker Barrel this year. It breaks my heart.

Today, Greg's Buckeyes pulled off a win against Penn State which makes for a happy weekend around here and Ty got a last minute invitation to a University of Louisville football game with a buddy. We are pretty excited for him.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Celebrating Lauren, Veterans and Concussion Improvement

She spent her birthday with movers. Again. This time they will live in hotels for twelve days with a very busy toddler and anxious dog. Austin took us on a tour of his house after it was packed via video chat and kept pointing at boxes saying, "mean". He was not happy with the movers. But they will be moving back to Georgia where they will be significantly closer to home in time for Christmas.

Ty got to participate in a program honoring Veterans on Monday and his favorite Vet spent the night with us to be there. He then escorted my dad to a first grade classroom where he answered six year old questions. His favorite being, "do you know Mark?" The Air Force may be slightly larger than this young lady suspects. Smile. The class then wrote thank you notes and we all loved their adorable letters.

Kate made it back to school for two class periods a day this week. Twice she managed to stay through three classes. She needed a nap after school each day but is getting stronger and more resilient. Our appointment with the specialist can't get here soon enough. We see moments of our girl but they crash hard and fast soon after. If I am being honest, she concerns me some. At this point, she struggles to find words and knows when the word coming to her brain isn't right but is navigating that frustration with humor.

The weather changed dramatically this week for most of the country. I don't love the change.
Me too, Oliver. Me too.

A few small friends have been playing teacher during station work at school. One girl is exceptionally busy with everyone else's work. She is a bit bossy and often discovered correcting other children. I learned on Friday she is Miss Sherri and I am not yet sure how I feel about that.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Concussions, Conferences and a Birthday

Ya'll. It has been a long week. I am emerging with my sense of humor in tact so there's that. There were a lot of serious conversations and health concerns on top of school issues that had me juggling quite a bit. I think they call that syndrome, "motherhood". I found this quote in a fictional story recently and just kept revisiting it. Every once in awhile mom truth shows up unexpectedly.

Tuesday evening, Lauren and Taylor called while I was on my way to bible study to ask for advice. It appears my beautiful and perfect grandson was throwing food at the dinner table. His plate was therefore removed as his parents let him know firmly his choice was unacceptable. He responded by putting his feet on the table and spitting. His parents were beside themselves with worry he requires more discipline than his nineteen month age should demand and I laughed so hard I had tears running down my face. I asked my son-in-law if my discipline techniques worked because he was living with my most ornery child. He declared this was the purpose of the call because they both know exactly where Austin got his stubborn personality. After a few moments, I told Lauren to call her dad to discuss their issue. She questioned if he would have advice and I again roared, "nope but he too could use the laugh". This grandparent gig is amazing.

Thursday a friend in Kindergarten who has struggled to make connections, took me by the hand and told me he loved me. The moment was special because it was so unexpected. And then Friday another friend told me I was too old to be his friend to keep me humble.  I will always love Kindergarten.

Kate turned a corner this weekend. Friday, Saturday and Sunday she remained awake all day and was symptom free. Light and sound are no longer making her nauseous. She isn't yet able to concentrate well but she feels stronger. Our goal is to start with two classes today to see how she manages them. She sees a concussion specialist in December and may at that point start physical therapy too.

Sunday, Greg, Kate, Ty and I met Greg's family half way for a late lunch to celebrate Dale's 80th birthday. He finally retired from his board seat at the local nursing home but is still planting trees on that property and helped move a piano this week as well. He has never slowed down and I can't imagine we will see that day any time soon.

My parents drove  over to spend the night last night so my dad could be honored at Ty's Veterans Day program this morning. We shared a pot of chili and planned ways they could help pass time while here since this is their first visit with me at work during the day. They are picking Kate up for me and taking Makenna to lunch when she gets off work. We are hoping to have dinner together but the freezing rain predicted for this evening has us watching radar. They may or may not get to stick around that long. Fortunately the holidays are just around the corner so more quality time is planned soon.

Makenna picked up additional classes for next semester because she is maintaining straight A's with her current course load on top of both jobs and a relationship. She is still leaning mostly toward education but is also expressing interest in safety engineering like her dad. Either field will have her frustrated with the government and grown ups but making a difference.

Erin is also increasing her class load next semester and hoping to maintain both jobs. She works a lot of hours and only manages to pop over to see us once a week if we are lucky; or she needs do laundry, as the case is usually. As Ty says, she uses the washer and steals our food. But we like her company so we encourage both.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Frequent Visit Card

Last Sunday, Greg and the kids worked trunk or treat at church and had a blast. Ty took a friend and Kate got to hold the church family baby.

On Monday, Kate fell off the skateboard she turned into a magic carpet for her Jasmine costume. Since we stop trick or treating at age thirteen and instead let them enjoy handing out candy, she wanted to make it more fun. In hindsight, I should have just allowed the trick or treating and told the grumbling neighbors to get over it.

However, the concussion diagnosis Tuesday morning was not what we wanted and Ty being sent home from school with a fever while I was at the doctor with Kate was also not exactly appreciated. But the day of rest it bought us on Wednesday ended up being exactly what we needed. Two kids to two different appointments in one day prompted a suggestion for a frequent visit card and the staff is happy to play along. Two punches in one day equals a glass of wine with the staff because they also deserve a break.
Both of these girls were breaking a rule without guilt. The dog isn't allowed on furniture and Kate called her up there with her. They looked so cute I almost allowed it. Almost.

Kate missed Tuesday through Friday to rest and recover. I took her doctor's notes and concussion protocol to her health office Tuesday and then emailed all seven of her teachers Wednesday. Two responded and only one of those teachers seemed to understand the impact this injury will make on her academic performance. I am not impressed but Kate has enjoyed all of her classes this year so my hope is she will be met with grace and understanding tomorrow.

Tuesday, Makenna and Noah returned from Texas with photos and stories about their visit. We are missing them and hoping they can make it here for Thanksgiving. Due to the efficiency of our government, we won't have confirmation until the week of Thanksgiving which is difficult for everyone. It's just nice to know when we will see them again.

Trick-or-treat was COLD. With a real feel temperature of twenty-one, no one felt they could bundle enough. The kids went from the swing to the warm car in the driveway to finally coming inside. Given they were more generous than expected, they ran out of candy after forty minutes anyway. Meanwhile, I had gone to bed, still fighting whatever bug hit me Wednesday.

Ty walked with a neighbor who used a warm truck to tackle the neighborhood. He had a blast and claimed he wasn't very cold but I am certain he ran more than walked. When he got home, he immediately pulled some of Kate's favorite candy from his bag and gifted her with it.

Further proof they sometimes like each other, this was the scene Friday morning when I went to wake him for school. He had been scared of a creepy clown who followed him around and couldn't go to sleep so she let him crawl into bed with her. I need photographic evidence to recall these moments because they generally master bickering skills together.

Friday I supported three classroom parties at school and left there exhausted. Holy cow, that is a lot of sugar and energy. So when the school sponsored trick or treat event started that night, I nominated Greg as chaperone. The guys had a good time together and I got Kate out of the house for a grocery trip to see how she held up. Other than the headlights on the way home making her feel sick, she did well.

After a leisurely start Saturday morning, Kate and I walked two local craft shows with a friend and she felt good afterward. I am feeling hopeful as we enter a new week. A conversation with a physical therapist left me wondering if whiplash isn't a large contributing factor into her lightheaded and dizzy symptoms. I have started some minor neck work to see how that impacts her and so far, she is having positive results. The concussion she endured three years ago left her symptomatic for five months. Second concussions can be more challenging so we are going to work with a neurologist and physical therapist this time in hopes of negating the long term implications.

In related news, I wonder how many medical offices are willing to stamp frequent visit cards.