So sorry, I have been MIA for 8 days! Forgive me.
Things are still rocking and rolling in the Casa de Chaos. The usual, navigating the waters of loan modification (I may be a population of 1, who has successfully achieved modification as of today), keeping up with soccer and school and housework and food therapy.
Food therapy does indeed require a lengthy post which I promise I will write. I don't like to write about things I am still unsure of, and we are only a month into therapy. I will say that it's going well, and that the first bill we got was $838.00. Thankful that we have good health insurance. So, the fact that Ryan ate tacos last night may be just perfect.
Today I went to school Mass and it is the Feast of the Archangels. For those non-Catholics, angels have a 9 order hierarchy. They are Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels and Angels. Gabriel is an archangel, as is Michael. In any case, angels are such an amazing topic for a homily and particularly at the children's Mass.
I think our family has been interacting with some angels lately.
My dad had emergency surgery on Friday. He visited his oncologist and the doc (God bless him!) randomly found that my dad had acute appendicitis. They found during surgery that his appendix had ruptured twice and had attempted to reseal itself to his large intestine. G-ross. I know. How insane that he didn't even know? That's some sturdy stock I come from! Obviously, they managed all of that and gave him antibiotics that would knock out the infection. That was Friday and he is home and resting already. Guardian angel and one amazing doctor.
Jack has been struggling with reading and spelling. He has been getting extra help at school and at home. Progress reports came home yesterday. Go ahead. Ask me if he is succeeding. Yes ma'am! Still a ways to go with the reading, but if the other grades are any indication, reading is the last piece of a pretty fantastic puzzle. Guardian angel and one amazing teacher.
So yes. Guardian angels do exist. And it appears that our family has several.
September 29, 2010
So sorry, I have been MIA for 8 days! Forgive me.
Posted by clemsongirlandthecoach at Wednesday, September 29, 2010
September 20, 2010
I have some new real estate clients. Newlyweds with children from previous marriages. A husband with a new job in an industry that is less than stable. A wife who is self-employed in sales.
All signs point to obstacles. Road blocks of a blended family learning a new dynamic. Jobs that are unsure. A new marriage and all that implies, good and bad. Minus the privacy when you add 4 children. Basically the only variable NOT in their equation is a new puppy that needs house training. Oh, wait...they have that too.
They should be trepadacious. Reserved. Conservatively optimistic at best.
However, they are not. They are full steam ahead. Completely convinced that they are destined for greatness, both in family and profession. They are pretty amazing.
Positive attitude and energy, something we could all use a little more of.
Posted by clemsongirlandthecoach at Monday, September 20, 2010
September 17, 2010
September 16, 2010
In 2000, I was 6 months pregnant with a baby boy. We had just moved to a new state, and thus had new medical insurance. As a result, my ob-gyn offered to do another ultrasound, since my insurance would cover it. He called it a "sex-check", and we laughed that maybe we'd find out it was actually a girl.
About 5 minutes into the ultrasound, the baby's gender was confirmed. Boy. Then the ultrasound tech made a noise I can only describe as a gasp. Sharp intake of air followed by, "Oh my God..." What she saw on the screen was a very dark area at the base of the baby's skull.
She immediately called in 2 doctors to read the ultrasound. Then she called my ob-gyn.
We were told that the baby had hydrocephalus. It occurs when excess fluid builds up in the brain, usually a result of obstruction preventing drainage. The excess fluid can push on the surrounding, brain tissue, causing brain damage. We were subsequently advised that the baby would most likely have serious issues. His legs were not moving in utero and possibly never would. He might be severely retarded.
That was the hardest day of my life as a mom.
Then, weeks later, I delivered that baby boy via c-section. He was whisked off to NICU while surgeons debated a shunt, brain surgery, etc.
That was the hardest day of my life as a mom.
Shortly thereafter, a CAT scan revealed that the fluid was reducing. Self-draining. 4 days later, the fluid had returned to normal and the pediatrician (God bless Dr. Joseph Little) placed that baby's hips back in their sockets, and fervent kicking ensued.
That baby's name is Ryan. He's 9 years old and perfectly healthy. He's beautiful and gifted. He plays soccer and scored 5 goals last week.
Proverbial bullet dodged.
Today he acted like a horse's ass at school. Mistreated someone. We're so disappointed in his choice. We love Ryan more than life itself and consequences for misbehavior hurt us as much as they hurt him. He's sad and embarrassed and remorseful.
Turns out those hardest days as a mom? Keep on coming.
Posted by clemsongirlandthecoach at Thursday, September 16, 2010
September 14, 2010
I could absolutely tell you that I am sitting in my immaculate kitchen working on meal planning, wearing a fantastic outfit and lip gloss.
But that would a complete and total lie. Utter bullshank.
Truth be told, I on the sofa. Dirty (read:filthy) ponytail in leggings and cardi. Watching reality television. There are dishes in the sink and yesterday's laundry is well, still awaiting me to manage it.
So there you have it.
But I am drafting posts in my head, about food therapy and real estate and school and ...
Hang with me. You'll see.
Posted by clemsongirlandthecoach at Tuesday, September 14, 2010
September 8, 2010
Those of us inclined to the "preppy" lifestyle share numerous likes (and perhaps dislikes!). But do we share names? A leading baby names site has done a great job of identifying names that many people think of as preppy, ranging from proper names (Parker, Spencer, Caroline, Meredith) to nicknames (Chip, Skip, Missy, etc). The website Baby Names Garden has just published their updated guide to preppy names and it's a lot of fun to browse and check out the origins and meanings of the names.
Their own list of preppy names is pretty much what you'd expect. But the most fun was looking at their list of user-contributed names, it's a really fascinating insight into names that some people think of as preppy! Bianca? Donovan? Samuel? I'm not sure where those fit in. Anyway, Baby Names Garden is offering everyone the chance to chime in and set the record straight -- they are running a darling giveaway with J. Crew gift certificates and signed copies of True Prep for prizes!
Is your name listed?
Posted by clemsongirlandthecoach at Wednesday, September 08, 2010
September 2, 2010
Parents Can Give Their Children a Competitive Edge through Early Exposure to Sign Language
One of the keys to surviving in a tilted economic system in which opportunities to achieve a decent standard of living will be limited is versatility – and the ability to communicate articulately in a variety of ways with the widest possible audience. This includes bilingual ability as well as the ability to communicate in non-verbal ways for the benefit of the disabled – primarily the deaf.
At the same time, a growing shortage of qualified interpreters fluent in American Sign Language has led to more career opportunities – and if current trends continue, it's likely that skilled ASL interpreters will have little problem securing lucrative employment in a society where such a commodity is destined to be in short supply.
Signing Before They Can Speak
A great deal of research has clearly demonstrated that the early years – ages 2 to five – are the best time to educate children in different modes of communication and language. This goes beyond the spoken word (though it is an optimal time for children to learn a second language); many young children have an aptitude for signing as well.
This is not as odd as you may think. As you know, many indigenous peoples around the world, including American Indian nations, have used sign language for centuries to facilitate communication with other tribes with whom they do not share a language. Some paleontologists and anthropologists theorize that Neanderthals – who apparently lacked the vocal mechanism to produce many spoken words – depended a great deal upon hand gestures to communicate.
In fact, recent research suggests that sign language is innate. An article published in the Boulder Daily Camera in 2003 presented strong evidence that babies as young as six months old communicate with their hands:
"...by 6 to 7 months, babies can remember a sign. At eight months, children
can begin to imitate gestures and sign single words. By 24 months, children
can sign compound words and full sentences. They say sign language reduces
frustration in young children by giving them a means to express themselves
before they know how to talk." (Glarion, 2003)
The author also cites study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development demonstrating that young children who are taught sign language at an early age actually develop better verbal skills as they get older. The ability to sign has also helped parents in communicating with autistic children; one parent reports that "using sign language allowed her to communicate with her [autistic] son and minimized his frustration...[he now] has an advanced vocabulary and excels in math, spelling and music" (Glarion, 2003).
The Best Time To Start
Not only does early childhood education in signing give pre-verbal youngsters a way to communicate, it can also strengthen the parent-child bond – in addition to giving children a solid foundation for learning a skill that will serve them well in the future. The evidence suggests that the best time to start learning ASL is before a child can even walk – and the implications for facilitating the parent-child relationship are amazing.
Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas
Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for the Zionsville educational child care facility, a member of the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose Schools (located in 16 states throughout the U.S.) and part of the network of Indiana educational child care preschools delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum.
Posted by clemsongirlandthecoach at Thursday, September 02, 2010