Friday, December 28, 2007

It's Been A Wonderful Week

In the true spirit of Wonder Boy, this week has been an adventure. Oh my. On Christmas Eve afternoon he decided to take a tour of the neighborhood - he got as far as the street behind us before Justice Boy caught up to him and carried him home. There was wailing and gnashing of teeth and flailing of limbs. I'm sure it put the neighbors in the holiday mood.

The best Christmas presents were the roll of turquoise duct tape from my Bible study friends (they've seen WB in action) and the monkey backpack harness (bondage to one's parents never looked so cute). I have resisted the urge to use the duct tape, but it is safely tucked away in a convenient spot just in case. So far, WB seems to think the monkey is a great idea - and we'll just let him continue thinking that, won't we?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Not So Wonderful Gaudete Sunday

Rejoice! The Savior is coming - He's almost here!
I hope the anticipation of Advent has been a blessing for your family.

* * * * * *

What an interesting day Sunday turned out to bee. Our day was abuzz with activity. We had missed a Christmas party with Our Fearless Leader's grandmother, so Sunday morning we jetted over for a visit. We discovered that Miss M has an intense dislike for animated statues of elves - the poor thing burst into tears anytime she was near the creaky old statue. She did, however, enjoy rocking out to the musical stylings of a stuffed polar bear and his entourage of dancing penguins. I imagine the staff at the center were all too happy to see our boisterous family leave... and I'm betting that musically gifted polar bear was retired as soon as the automatic door swooshed shut behind us.

We flew home to prepare for Uncle Firefighter, Aunt Magic Hands, and the Dynamic Nephews to arrive for our annual gingerbread house decorating. It was decided that we needed to snap a few pictures outside, so we set out to find the perfect backdrop for our photogenic young people. No sooner had we arranged them in a very cute pose, when I saw something fly into the collar of Wonder Boy's shirt. It dawned on me just as the perfect photo was about to be captured forever in digital form - the "something" was a BEE!

Once again, I had one of those slow-motion moments - I'm yelling "Waaaaiiiiiit!" and leaping forward just as Wonder Boy locks eyes with me, cringes and begins to wail. Suddenly I was right there, the now-bottomless bee was still crawling on his hand and the stinger was still stuck... in Wonder Boy's neck. The poor guy scratched himself horribly trying to get whatever was stuck off. Needless to say, the perfect photo op was ruined and beyond salvage.

Oh, well. There's always next year. In the meantime, may peace bee yours. ;)

P.S. I had to wait to post this on the off chance that my mother read my blog. The photos we were posing for at the time of the Great Bee Attack of 2007 were for her and I hated to spoil the surprise.

Monday, December 10, 2007

In Pursuit of Clear Speech

I want to scream... and then cry. I am so frustrated.

After spending the afternoon playing phone games, I have left a voice mail at the Dept of Education. spoken to my insurance company, and spoken to the county homeschooling liaison. The county call was relatively useless. All she could suggest was that I call the state DoE... and then she gave me a number that's no good. So after tracking the correct number, I called the DoE. I went through the voicemail options, finally got a live person who transferred me to "the consultant of the day." Yeah, that's a direct quote. Guess what? I had to leave a voicemail. Great. So I did. Then I called my insurance company. Yes, speech therapy is covered as long as it's medically necessary. (Um... speech isn't medically necessary for survival, so what gives with that?) Anyway... it's covered... but falls under my deductible. Have I mentioned that my deductible FIVE THOUSAND dollars? Great. Peachy. So, while it's a theoretical option to go with private therapy, it's basically out of our league. Miss Consultant of the Day still hasn't called me back and I'm fairly certain I won't hear from her today because it's so late in the day.

Do you have any idea how much I regret ever changing our deductible to such a high one? Oh, wait. That's because it was hideously expensive to keep the higher premium/lower deductible combo. And now we pay MORE in premiums than we did back then AND have the higher deductible.

I want to cry. And I really want to break something. Preferably something that shatters and makes a loud crashing sound that would startle the next county's residents.

My Baby Says "Baby!"

Yesterday we did some family Christmas shopping. The boys decided to buy her a set of bottles that go with her baby doll. And we also found a sibling for said baby doll. She took one look and said, "Baby!" As Our Fearless Leader and Oldest Kiddo went one way to make purchases, the rest of us went another in the store. The two purchasers got a kick out of Miss M yelling through the store... all they heard was "Baby! Baby! Baby!" They were relieved to find out that she was not unhappy... just loud.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Relying on the Government is Risky

I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the district. So I made an appointment, waited FOUR weeks to get to the assessment in November, was told it would take FOUR more weeks to call me and set up an evaluation. I called today (it's been two weeks since the assessment) to check on the progress of evaluation scheduling. I was told that they are just finishing up SEPTEMBER's assessments. >:/ AND that I should just check back after the holidays... on January 7th.

It took every ounce not to scream at the woman handling my call. I WAS nice to her because I realize it's not *her*, it's the district administration. The preschool development/special ed folks are understaffed, and that's the fault of the administration. So I made two more phone calls until I finally got the name of who I need to talk to - BUT it does nothing to move my kid along.

If I wait to hear from or contact the preschool in January, that will be about 3 months since I first contacted the district for an evaluation. An evaluation that has not happened yet. We have only had an assessment to reveal that - DUH! - the kid can't talk and needs to be evaluated!!! So by the time I get an evaluation and a treatment plan, we're talking end of February as a best case scenario, four or five months later. That's nearly a HALF of a YEAR!!!!

I am beyond aggravated. I am praying that my pathetic excuse for health insurance covers therapy because we just can't wait this long. I take it back, I'm not aggravated - I am angry beyond measure.

This is the group of "experts" that I am supposed to entrust my children's education to? If they can't be adequately staffed and supported to help the kids in desperate need, what are they doing with the kids getting along ok? Please, don't answer that. I already experienced the answer last year.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Wonder Highlights of the Past Week

It's been too crazy to post daily. But here is the week in digest form:

Sunday: We ended a lovely Thanksgiving weekend. The brined turkey was the best ever - we'll be doing THAT again! Our Fearless Leader cleaned out a set of cabinets in the schoolroom and I planned in my head what to do with the newfound space.

Monday: We returned from Park Day after chasing Wonder Boy down in the parking lot. I thought that little adventure might be the wonder moment of the day... but Wonder Boy was feeling curious. At some point I paid attention to the niggling idea that something was amiss and sought WB out. He was in the schoolroom unattended... with an open bottle of glue. He announced, "deedee" as he pinched his fingers together and pried them apart when I ran in. As I turned to the countertop to place the now-closed-and-sticky glue bottle down, I mentioned that he should not play with... I never got to finish that thought because I turned back around to see him with an open bottle of red craft paint. That would be craft paint, from the now emptied cabinet, that I had tucked in the far back side of a basket and placed as far back on the desk as possible. I grabbed the bottle and quickly escorted WB to the bathroom. Somehow we managed to avoid painting the carpet and only dripped on the tile. It took three hand washings to rinse all of the paint off. We did have to retire a bathroom towel though - it lived a long and useful life, though it's colorful demise was not expected.

Tuesday: It's all a blur. But we survived.

Wednesday: A fantastic time was had by Miss M, WB and I on the baby swings at the park. I don't think I've ever seen two kids enjoy swinging more.

Thursday: Homeschooling issues abounded, diapers were strewn about (unused, of course), multiple time outs by the middle children, but it was a good day all in all. Once again, we survived.

Friday: It rained. It rained. It rained. And it rained some more. I was waiting for the children to ask me who was sinless in the world and where should they look for the next ark. It rained some more. Then it got dark and rained. There was a point when it sounded more like a tsunami had somehow become vertical and landed on the house, but we checked and it was just more rain.

Saturday: I thought "Please shoot me," as we woke up to more rain. The boys went to work with Our Fearless Leader and Miss M and I went grocery shopping with the ENTIRE city. Apparently no one else likes to shop in the rain either, but after Thanksgiving leftovers ran out we all found ourselves with bare pantries. Mass was served, dinner was made, and a hilarious movie was enjoyed by OFL and me.

Sunday: An uneventful day. Bu the noise level in our house by four children after two days of rain is not a pleasant experience.

Monday: Miss M discovered sand and grass at the park today. WB decided to throw sand at Miss M, inspiring the Park Day Playground Monitor to stalk over and tell me that "that little boy has been throwing sand at that poor baby...." It was a prickly moment, and I had to tell her that they were both MY children and thankyouverymuch for noticing. At that point we began to pack up. It's 4pm now and we still have dinner, RE class and baths to go before I can lay my little ones to bedtime rest. Wish me luck.