Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Fevers

 Since starting school Benjamin has had two of his fever episodes. These fevers typically last 5 days and at night go up past 105 in spite of using fever reducers around the clock. So, back to the doctor we went and she sent him to infectious diseases to see of they could figure it out. 



I was surprised that he didn't need any blood work. She said that our doctor did great on the blood work. I hadn't realized that she checked for mono, leukemia and other things. Now I know why she was so happy when his book work came out normal. However, we did do blood work when he was in the middle of a fever. In the bloodworm his SED rate was high but returned to normal after the fever left. Based on everything he was diagnosed with PFAPA. Yes, I had to go look it up and honestly I hope that is what he has. There isn't a test for it but on the next onset of a fever he will be given a steroid and it is supposed to stop the fever. If it works then that will be the plan of action. There isn't any way to prevent the fevers and he should outgrow them.



Now we wait for the next fever to see if steroids knock it out. I sure wouldn’t complain if another one never came!

Saturday, October 10, 2020

I'm Back

Sorry for disappearing! So much has been going on. I don't even know where to start. 

School has been crazy. I work with kids virtually and in person. All the IEP's are a mess, not much substance to them. Slowly I am redoing all of them. I find that I have a knack for writing them. My mentor says I have surpassed her abilities with them so I am on my own with them now. So many assessments to figure out where the kids are and what they are struggling in. I feel like I spend more time doing paperwork than working with the students.

I started the first day of school and have been having a huge learning curve. My certification is severe and multiple disabilities and this is a LD job. Learning the needs of my students and then trying to figure out what curriculum to use has been a challenge. They don't provide a specific curriculum, I have to find my own stuff. Then learning virtual teaching and what to use with that. Lovely year to decide to take a job.

Honestly, I don't know if I will go back next year. I feel like the Homefront is suffering with me being gone. At least Benjamin is at school with me all day. Sarah is helping with Larissa and we are doing year round so we can pace ourselves. However, Sarah has student teaching next semester so we will see how that goes!

My husband is still working from home. That has really helped with everything going on at home. He actually has taken kids to dental appointments, a new thing for him. He thinks he will go back within the next month. That will leave Sarah home, Anthony is going to school (too many girls at home) while Emma, Michelle and foster teen are doing school virtually.

So, I carry on wondering what I got myself into! If anyone has good online resources for reading and writing let me know! Math I have covered. Any suggestions for middle school spelling, I am open to ideas. That spelling is atrocious!

Benjamin is enjoying the Montessori school. He had his first project on Morocco and chose to do a painting of a mosque. He had his first standardized testing, he is in the 97% for math and 66% for language arts. Obviously he loves math. He doesn't like to write any more for the school than he did for me but he does love to spell correctly, thank goodness!





Continued in next post....



Friday, July 17, 2020

Job/School

Well, I did a crazy thing during the coronavirus pandemic, I got a job. Benjamin was accepted into the local Montessori school and while I was talking with them about my degree from USC, they told me that they needed a special education teacher. I told them that I had a degree in severe disabilities and they needed a LD teacher. They asked me to apply. I did. I got the job. Now I am in a panic, I need to take some classes in LD and have to learn a lot in a short period of time! I also need to learn how they teach in the Montessori way so that I can integrate the two, something the last teacher didn't do.

The job is part time which is good with me. They lost the room they were using last year to the nurse who needed a room for isolation. Looks like I will be using a conference room. I have no suppose and no ideas. I have been doing internet searches for Montessori special education so get some ideas. Anyone teach in a Montessori school? They went public two years ago and haven't really been able to get the special education program going well. All the IEP's need to be rewritten and so much to do. Oh, and they start school next Wednesday. I am not sure when I start as I am still in processing but I suspect it will be real soon.

I have had a bit of panic as I wonder if I have bitten off too much but I am also excited by the challenge. It is also such a strange time to be embarking on a new career! The folks here in SC don't seem to be doing a very good job on doing what they need to do to lower our virus count. So much fighting over a simple mask. Making something about freedoms and such just seems crazy to me.

School is a huge issue here. We have decided to let Benjamin go to classes. They seem to have a lot of safeguards in place and I will be there so I guess we will be or not be exposed together.  I feel that his age group will be more willing to adhere to the safeguards. However, I worry about my high schoolers. Our foster will be doing virtual school. She was bullied a lot last year and right before they went out of school she had one boy cough into his hand and then rub it on her. I can see that still happening. She is delighted that she can do school at home.

Larissa is starting high school this year and has already started her homeschooling. She is taking a virtual voice class with the local arts program and we are about to start her history and language arts. I am still looking at math. Next semester we will be doing science and computer. Anyone know of a good online computer class? We are somewhat doing year round and staggering classes. She needs a total of 24 credits and we are looking to do 6 credits a year. Oh, I forgot Spanish. Hmm, 7 per year. Benjamin will be learning Spanish this year and one of his teachers is from Peru. Tasha also has Vaida enrolled in a school where they learn Spanish. So now I need to find a Spanish program too.

Anthony says he wants to go to school so I will allow him to do that. He has no problems and is a germaphobe so I know he will stay away from people!

I am not sure what we will do with Emma and Michelle. They showed that they will not do the school work unless someone is constantly on them. They will either go to school where I am not sure if they will follow that safety guidelines or not or they will do the live virtual classes. We haven't decided yet.

Anyone else struggling? Sarah will be home this semester since Spain got cancelled. John is still working from home. I have a 4 year old foster child who needs 4K but I don't know what to do about that. All my kids have different needs. It is just crazy!  I want to get back to normal. I want to be excited for Benjamin started at the new school without feeling some level of concern. I want for my kids to all go to high school and do all the social things that high schoolers do. I want people to stop fighting each other because of different beliefs, I want to be able to go to the store and not feel this twinge when I walk in and then struggle because what I need to buy may be unavailable or the limits for purchases hamper me feeding my family. sigh, sorry for the rant. I know I have so much to be thankful for! But ugh!


Saturday, July 11, 2020

Kids update continued

Some updates are easy, typical life. Some are harder and more difficult when determining what to say.  Next kid is Michelle. She will be 15 later this month! Hard for me to believe that. We have been struggling for so long. We have been to two different therapists and I requested in school therapy right before the covid stopped schools. The lies continue. Hard to explain, she seems to enjoy putting her siblings down to elevate herself with others. Does that make sense? She exaggerates what she knows to appear knowledgeable. She says she doesn’t recognize when she embarrasses others because she doesn’t feel embarrassed. She gets on the bus and announces to everyone that out new placements are foster kids. She has done that after we have asked her to stop. Larissa didn’t go to youth at the church for a long time because Michelle would go up to her and say stuff to embarrass her.

We didn’t take her on the last cruise because of behaviors on the first cruise. Michelle acknowledges that none of the kids would talk with Larissa because of things she said. Larissa made friends on the last cruise that she still talks with today. She also doesn’t respect Sarah at all and she is the adult in the cabin. We hope to cruise next summer and she is on it but if a choice we’re to be made today she wouldn’t be going.

On a positive note, Larissa and our teen have a great relationship and Michelle has noticed that. Michelle wants that relationship. At first she tried to get it by taking advantage when the girls had a disagreement. She would tell each kid things to try and further separate them then try to get close to one of them. They finally saw that pattern and learned to fix their disagreements. As they got closer Michelle got more spiteful. It all came to a head and we had a long talk about it. Michelle admitted to so many of the things she had done and begged to be in a relationship with them. Larissa is trying but struggles. Years of pain from that relationship make it hard. But, there are bigger blocks of getting along and working together. Old habits are hard to break though so I often feel like a therapist as I try to help them navigate relationships with lots of hurt in the past. Regardless, it is nice to see Michelle want that relationship. She speaks to me of retreat for all that lost time. She says she wants to be like most of our grown kids, there for each other. She does have empathy and loves others, she just needs to learn how to apply it to help build positive relationships.






Thursday, July 9, 2020

Foster Update

Sorry for disappearing. I have been either very busy or very lazy, depends on the day!

Quick update, the teen ran away. He took one of our phone with him so we know he went out of state and to a party (photos was attached to mine). I erased the phone so I don’t know where he currently is but I assume across the border where he wants to be. In 4 months he will be 18 with nothing. We tried and we wanted to help him but he had to be open to accepting it. We pray for him and hope he makes better choices for himself.

Our 4 year old is still with us. They are waiting for either a transfer to grandma Out of state or the state her mom loves in. With all that is going on, not much is going on. Could be a long wait.

Our teen, we fully believe will become our 12th child. We worried that with everything coming to a stop she would age out. Well, both parents signed their rights away. Our adoption homestudy is being reviewed. We are waiting for that to come back and for the legally free letter then we will go sign and see our lawyer.

Promise, tomorrow I will post!

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Kids 2

Kids update continued.

Sarah is home and still working on her master degree. She was supposed to go on a mission trip on September but that has been cancelled. She will have a semester off and then I believe she just has one semester and student teaching to do. She is teaching English as a second language. She is a huge help with cooking. She enjoys trying new recipes but even she is growing weary of meal planning. I am proud of how hard she has worked to overcome her disabilities and for her huge, serving heart. I don’t have many pictures because she doesn’t like me to take them!









My goal is to get Sarah pictures! (Don’t tell her)

Anthony is doing well. He has worked hard and raised his GPA this last year in spite of the distance learning. He has worked hard on controlling his anger but his sarcasm has strengthened. I remember a time when he didn’t understand sarcasm and I can be very sarcastic so it is hard to say much about it.
He is another kid who is hard to get pictures of, I pretty much have to trap him. I am proud of how hard he has come with taking responsibility with his own education and working hard to get into college as well as controlling his anger. His closest relationships with his siblings are Larissa and Benjamin.









Monday, June 15, 2020

Kids



Curious how the adult kids are doing? In a nutshell....

Jason is living home. His job is gone so he is working with another man who lost his job and is trying to start up a business. He and George are doing well. No wife, no kids. Guess no grandkids from him! He says he doesn't want any kids. I can respect that. He takes good care of George. He also has the great hair that Tasha is jealous of! He helps me with my projects, spoils Benjamin and recently did his first paint pour.









Tasha is working as a respiratory therapist so is busy. Her husband was working from home but just went back to work. Their two kids are growing and doing great. They own their own home but plan on buying a bigger home in the next 5 years.





Kissing his sleeping sister.





Joselin, uh, well, when she insisted on taking Miguel back I told her I couldn't do back and forth because of this virus. She had him less than a week and she asked me to take him for a week. This was when Benjamin was sick and so I told her I couldn't take him. So, she is currently mad at us. Can't forgive us. A lot of stuff went down between the adult kids and not good stuff. She has a lot of anger. I wish she could find the right person to talk with.




Kassi is struggling. She is a hard worker but I really wish she would go back to school. She has so much untapped potential that she is not using right now. Her kids are growing up so fast and Noah starts 4k next year. She is a great parent and has learned a lot over the last few years. I hope that once he is in school maybe she will go back to school. She used to be the tallest daughter but has lost that spot! She also learned to swim, yay!

I realize that all my pictures of Noah swimming include my foster, he sure loves the water. And no pictures of Kassi swimming, no pictures means it didn't happen.