Saturday, February 7, 2009

[day 38 ... february 7]

Whirlwind of a Saturday around here. I took Niall to the last round of school district testing at 9, then back home only to turn around and drive Kellen down to the bus. Swung by Barnes & Noble to pick up some Beast Quest books for Niall to take to the birthday party later in the day. Home for lunch and feeding kids, then off again to take Niall to Vertical World for the party - an indoor climbing wall place. It's the first time Niall has done any climbing and he thought it was pretty fun. He's eager to go back.

My friend (and mother of classmates in both Cory's and Niall's classes) Jennifer offered to bring Niall home after the party. Sweet! So I headed home after getting Niall settled in. After another round of nebulizing for Cory, I decided he really needed to be seen by a doctor today. Got a 4:30 appointment, and headed down to Bellevue with Mr. C shortly after Niall got home from the party. (Tynor was home all day, thankfully, so I didn't have to haul both kids everywhere but could leave one at home with him.)

The doctor said Cory's cough was wheezy: she described him as a "Happy Wheezer" - not presenting as terribly sick but definitely not well in his lungs/breathing. So she prescribed a steroid for that, but said we could wait and see on his red (but not infected, she thought) ear and his infected (but not horribly) rashy bumps. Headed back north and hit Rite Aid to drop off the prescriptions. Dashed into Albertson's to pick up a few things while the prescriptions were being filled, then back to get them and home again in time to confront the daily "What's for dinner?" puzzle. Decided on tuna melts/sandwiches, rustled up the food and got everyone fed. Got Cory nebulized again, and then embarked on all the bedtime routines.

Whew. Just a day in the life, right? But a lot more time on the road in this one than is typical. For a weekend, anyway.

[day 37 ... february 6]

See the lady in the fabulous red hat? She's our fabulous librarian at The Little School, Nancy Palmer. She's usually found in the library, of course, but here she's joining in a Friday Meadows singalong, helping keep kids settled in Kathi's class since Kathi is up front playing the guitar.

Nancy and the library at TLS are among the school's best treasures and all of the kids (including mine, of course!) love her dearly. Parents too! A favorite line at school (and at home, for that matter is): "I don't know, I'll go ask Nancy." Because Nancy will *always* find a resource or a book to answer even the most esoteric questions. And delights in doing so - that's the best part.

Niall is especially enamored of the library right now, and often spends much of his Extended Day time next door at the library browsing and reading books, or discussing important topics with Nancy. He enjoys looking up his name in the library catalog and seeing how many books he has "published" and added to the library - 18 at last count, I think.

Nancy catalogs and adds to the library any book that a student authors, from the youngest class to the oldest. Some years, and in some classrooms, creating and delivering books to Nancy for addition to the school's book collection is an absorbing and very productive activity. Usually the books are handmade, but one year, Niall and I created a Shutterfly book about our family camping trip to Ft. Flagler and he couldn't wait to add it to the library. Cory just checked it out a few weeks ago. :-)

[day 36 ... february 5]

Tonight was mid-winter parent meeting night at Puget Sound Community School (PSCS), Kellen and Tynor's school, which is located in Seattle's International District. It's a long drive from Woodinville, but I enjoy the meetings so much, it's well worth the effort. Grandma Shannon came over to be with the little guys, and I headed for Seattle at about 6, arriving in plenty of time for the 7 p.m. meeting despite missing the correct exit off I-5 *again*. I don't seem to have the knack for navigating the whole I-5/I-90/SoDo exits at all. But I do have an excellent sense of direction, or maybe it's just that I can figure out how to eventually tack back and forth until I get somewhere. (Maybe some of both. :-) So I exited I-5 belatedly but backtracked to the I-district without any trouble.
I was thrilled to see several new signs up since I'd last visited: a big one in golden letters (and swirl) on the outside of building, near the PSCS entrance, and then this one inside between the waiting area and Andy's office. They are so cool! I love the new logo and tagline - very hip and crisp.
Whenever I visit, I always enjoy checking out the magnetic-board class schedules, even though I end up wishing I could drop everything and join various sessions. These kids are so lucky! Sometimes (and some kids more than others) they even realize it. :-) If and when my schedule ever gets less hectic (aka certain young people get just a tad older), I'd love to spend more time at PSCS volunteering, going on field trips, helping to facilitate a class, or just hanging out with the students and staff. I'm looking forward to it...some day...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

[day 35 ... february 4]

Laurel has been a friend for many years, ever since her two boys (similar in age to Kellen and Tynor) were also at Little School. Kellen and Connor were in the same class for many years and were good friends, and Tynor and Brendan also shared some classes together and hung out sometimes.

Now that Laurel's kids have outgrown and we don't run into each other in the school parking lot anymore, we try to have lunch every other month or so to catch up and have a good visit. Usually we meet at Red Robin and have a great gabfest that goes on long after we finish lunch. As Laurel says, I hope we're still getting together when we're old ladies!

Today we finally had "Carissa time" again, after several weeks off. Niall and I have been going to see Carissa regularly at the Rosemary White clinic for a year and a half now. The clinic specializes in helping children with sensory integration issues learn how to manage their bodies in space, think before they act, make and adapt plans and strategies, and cope with strong emotions. It's hard to measure how much the clinic work has helped Niall, but I see him benefiting from his time there and I know how much progress he has made in the past couple of years. He loves to go and play on the equipment - big hammocks, swings, trapezes, etc. of all kinds.

Recently I've been bringing Cory as well, which Niall is not thrilled about (he misses that one-on-one time with both Carissa and me focused on just him) but it's helpful to him in other ways than the 1:1 time. And it's much better for Cory at this point, since otherwise he has a very long day and doesn't get home from extended care until nearly bedtime. So unless I can figure out another strategy (playdates? Pick him up from school after Carissa time?), I'm going to continue to bring him with us. The opportunity for Niall and Cory to work on the dynamics between them are clearly valuable, but I worry a bit that Niall isn't getting the focused time to work on his separate issues. No perfect solution...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

[day 34 ... february 3]

Today I had the great honor and privilege of getting four new tires for the van. Ouch! Not a cheap proposition. But the two new "off brand" tires I got from Les Schwab a few years back have never worked well. They don't grip the road, they slip on the slightest bit of gravel or ice, the ride is terrible - on and on.

And then I was told that when one of the rear tires' flats had been repaired, they'd used a method that left the tire "weak" so the Costco guy said I really should replace it as well. "Certainly before any long trips" - like, say, the camping trips we take in the summer, you think?

Since you can't replace just three tires, I had to spring for a set of four. But they're great tires. I never realized what a difference good tires make when you're driving! (Yes, honestly. :-) And I will feel much safer now driving in the ice and snow on the hills around home, so that's good too. Hopefully I'll soon forget the dent they made in my pocketbook.

[day 33 ... february 2]

Seeing my cousin's scanned photos of her elementary school classes reminded me of this picture of me with a "select" group of 6th grade classmates. I can't remember exactly what we were chosen to do, but looks like it had something to do with medicine or science, based on the props we have in the photos.
Mostly I think this picture is entertaining because it's one of the few pictures of me with long hair. I've only grown out my hair once, and in this photo, you can see why! I usually wore it pulled back or braided because it's so thick and curly, and was so completely prone to massive snarls.

Janet (far left, standing) became one of my best friends in high school but we didn't get to know each other much in 6th grade. I moved to a school across town for the rest of middle school, and then attended the "other" high school in Bellingham. But we were in church together all through high school (youth group, choir, mission trips) and have kept in touch all these years later. She's now a Methodist minister and I realized over the years that I fall into the atheist category. But we're still good friends.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

[day 32 ... february 1]

January was a month of battling illnesses. Everyone except Tynor has caught one bug or another, and Niall's had a round of oral steroids/antibiotics (which cured him of his horrible cough and major congestion overnight - amazing what the right meds can do).

Now Cory's down again, after beating back a nasty cough a few weeks ago. This time he's got a virus, but it's moving into a cough as well, as they always seem to for him and Niall. :-( This afternoon he was pretty perky, but just now (almost dinnertime) I found him asleep on the couch, lulled to dreamland by a National Geographic special on the Apollo missions (very soothing voiceover and music, now that I think of it).

And I thought I'd finally beaten my cold after several weeks of up and down, but it came back with a vengeance this weekend unfortunately.

Hoping this isn't another week of nursing a sick kiddo at home, going to the doctor, and struggling to get well. After all, it's February now - time to move on!