Praying for Ansley

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Quiet Tuesday

Wow, I am home ALONE. No Matthew. No Maia. How strange!!

My parents have taken Maia to their house for the week since I don't have daycare set up for these 30 days... Last week my friend Julie watched her. This week it's my parents - but they needed to take her to their house rather than staying here with us and watching her. Needless to say, it is much quieter around here than normal, and we miss her!!

Of course, I had a list of things a mile long to accomplish while she was gone, but I'm certainly not getting as much done as I would have liked!!

This weekend, Matthew, my brother and I are going to my parents house for the weekend. My grandma will be there too!! It'll be a short trip, but I'm excited to see my grandma! It'll be great to all be together for a couple of days and to see Maia after a week away! The weather will be awful this week for Maia at the beach, but I'm sure she'll enjoy the time with grandma and grandpa anyway.

we'll see what the rest of the week brings - so far - all is good (even though we miss Maia!)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm exhausted!

Today has been a very busy day! I started off by cleaning my bathroom. I won't dicuss all the details, but suffice it to say, it had been entirely too long and was well overdue! This took about an hour.

I was on a roll, so then I went outside to trim the second of three shrubs in my front yard (with thorns) that has overtaken the front flower bed. I did one last weekend, but the thorns hurt so badly I couldn't do more than one that day. So today my goal was to do the last two. Well, as it turns out, the heat index was over 100 today (when I found this out, I realized why I was so HOT and exhausted.) Anyhow, rather than doing the third thorny bush, I decided to trim back the butterfly bush that had REALLY taken over my front bed. This of course led to other items in the flower bed that needed trimming, etc. The 3rd thorny bush remains - most likely a job for next weekend. Things are looking better - but we're not there yet.

While I was busy doing the (careful!) trimming - Matthew mowed the yard. It looks so good!! It had been at least two weeks since we last mowed, with a tropical storm in between, so it too was long overdue. If feels so good to get things done around the house - even though the whole house and yard is never done at the same time! It's great to have some of these big jobs done.

Maia took a great nap - 1 to 4 today to allow us to get a lot of this completed. (Of course, this was also the heat of the day.)

We ordered pizza for dinner - something we do very rarely - and boy was it good!! Maia even ate a whole piece! She's never shown much interest in pizza, let alone an entire piece. Well, she devoured it and then continued with other items. Raisins are one of her favorite things at the moment. She's eaten like a champ the past couple of days - she must be having a growth spurt! With all her eating, if she doesn't grow UP, she'll definitely grow AROUND.

Right now she is watching Winnie the Pooh before bed. Frankly, I needed some extra down time - the heat really did me in. I wasn't expecting it to be that hot!

The cool thing this week is that Maia's new school has BACK-TO-SCHOOL night on Tuesday! How cute is that?? It is only 30 minutes, so I will attend while Matthew hangs with Maia in the car or if it's nice, then he'll stroll her around the center while I'm inside. Then, we'll take him to scouts from there. He's going to run for a leadership position again on Tuesday, so that should be an exciting night. I can't wait to go to back to school night - I think that is AWESOME for a daycare. Never had that at the other one....

Just a side note 0 I can tell Maia has a little more attention span these days. She can actually watch one whole video without tuning out, or freaking out. Of course, just as I typed that, she has had ENOUGH and wants to stop now! Too funny. It's still better than it used to be. Not that I WANT her engrossed in the TV, but it does give me down time sometimes when I need it and I'm glad she can focus long enough to 'enjoy' the show - which she couldn't before. Progress.

Everyone have a great week!! I'm certainly hoping for less drama than last week - of course, only time will tell!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What a difference a DAY makes....

Man - was I mad last night or was I mad last night?? Yup, I was MAD last night. (Could you tell??) But, do you realize it was over the daycares lack of ability to deal with children? All children are different. Some need different methods for Matthew, some need different methods for discipline. Thank God the public schools understand this and allow Matthew to learn his way!! (By the way, he scored a perfect score on a standardized test... here here to learning HIS way!!) I just wish a daycare that is in business and has many different kids from many different backgrounds and personalities would understand the uniqueness of each child and I wish THEY would learn how to react differently to different kids. Since they aren't able to do that, I am not at ALL mad that she got kicked out. I am convinced it is a blessing and had already signed her up for a new daycare before the 'last straw' anyway... but to go through this whole routine in 3 days - with two previous warnings is simply absurd. The idiocy of it all and their lack of competance at this point, amazes me.

Example: I took Maia to Sunday school tonight. I asked, was she good?? They said, Oh she was wonderful - she is so sweet! Now, I know Maia, and she CAN be perfect for 2 hours, but chances are at some point, she wanted the same toy as someone else, or something like that. Day care kicks her out, Sunday school said she was sweet... Thank goodness not everyone runs a center as the last daycare did and their are choices for me to now turn to. For that, I am grateful.

I am also grateful that I have some of the next 30 days lined up for coverage. A friend of mine, Julie is going to watch Maia this week! YEAH JULIE! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I had been focused on which of my friends have children around Maia's age that I could either ask to watch her, or for suggestions of home day cares for the next 30 days. That's when Julie's name flashed in front of my eyes (on the IM screen) and I had an idea!!! Julie was in the same awful mortgage industry I was in, and is looking for just the right job to fill the one left behind in that sinking industry. She was a nanny before working in mortgage. She comes from a LARGE family with 35 nieces and nephews... Wow, she's perfect! So, I called her up hoping and praying she'd say yes. She did!! She took on this first week for me - yippee!!!!!!

Now, the HUGE prayer request is that the new school takes Maia on Oct. 1 (since she turns 2 that month, there is a chance they can admit her on Oct. 1 and still be OK...) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let this be the case. That saves me 1.5 weeks of finding other people to fill in. I do have some leads as to some who stay home and do daycare though, so with any luck - I won't have a problem regardless of her start date.

A wonderful surprise tonight - not only did we finally go to church. (It's been entirely too long for me! We do go to our 'internet campus' which broadcasts the entire thing... and saves a good bit of gas money and toll money, but... it's still nice to GO to the church!!) Anyway, we went for the first time in ages, and ran in to friends we hadn't seen in years. In fact, their 2 year old son was there, and I hadn't seen him yet! The neat this is, they don't regularly attend this church so it was a total fluke that they were there tonight, and us!! And of course, Maia and their little guy were in the same class. Cool!! How awesome was that coincidence. Hopefully we'll get together soon - I miss them!!

Our football game has been cancelled for tomorrow - good old Hurricane Ike!! We were to play in Houston - and it was postponed until Monday night, and then damage actually occurred at the stadium, so Monday night was postponed now too.

Mom and Dad had a great week in SC with the kids. Regan and Joel have made it home safely and Mom and Dad are on their way home tomorrow... Probably just in time to watch Maia next week! Lucky them - all this grandchild love - I bet they are glad they retired.... LOL. :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

What a difference a week makes...

Well, Tuesday everything was fine. How quickly things change. Wednesday, I got a call from daycare about 4:00 p.m. Maia had pushed another kid in her class, and when the teacher told her no, she bit the teacher. Rather than a time-out in the room, they sent her to the office to take her time out. Then she returned to class. When I got there, not too long after this (maybe 10 minutes after she was back in her classroom) I walked in to her swatting at her teacher a little for something or other. I walked across the classroom watching her every move and by the time she saw me, giving her a stern glare, she bowed her head in shame and for what I had just witnessed, I spoke to her, told her not to hit her teachers and made her sit in a time out. Her teacher told me she had already done a timeout, but that was for the other incident and since when is the limit one time out anyway if she is still acting out?

So, I'll forwarn you all. I'm mad. This will get detailed and frankly, I won't be overly nice. The above was the tame version of what I'm about to tell you. And I'll say upfront that Matthew went to this same daycare for 10 years. It was awesome. I loved it. It suited him well. As I have quickly learned, each child is different and responds differently to the same situation. There, there is the only nice thing I have to say about this day care anymore. 10 years good. 3 months, crapola.

So, this daycare is very against anything negative. Meaning, of course, they can't spank a child, (wouldn't want them to!!) and are very positive in their approach to discipline. Their idea of discipline is when a child 'chooses' to shove a child, they say, "Maia, no thank you." No reference to what they are saying no too, and it is said in the same tone as "Would you like some candy?" would be said. This is the extent. So, although since she has been there since the end of June they had said "Maia, no thank you" for various things... this was the first time (Wednesday) she was sent to the office and got a Beahvior Note. Remember this. Day 1 - Wednesday this week. The note said, "Maia chose to push a child and when the teacher said, "Maia, no thank you", Maia chose to bite her teachers arm. So, we invited her to come take a break in the office." What the @)*(&@(*#&%. You INVITED her to come take a BREAK in the office. I'm sorry, I'm 39 years old, can you speak to me like an adult and tell me she was sent to the office for a timeout?? Invited to take a break... please. Side note - what toddler would ENJOY a field trip to the office - to them, that's a field trip!! To this daycare, it is 'punishment'. (Which I MIGHT understand if they are 4 or 5... Maia is still ONE, mind you.)

Call it mother's intuition... I knew right then. We were in trouble.

Thursday, about 4:00 p.m.... I get yet another call/voice mail at work (my new job of 3 months, remember??) "Maia has chosen to shove a few of her friends today." (I witnessed this a couple of times when I picked her up, she is 22 pounds, in the 2% of her age... so the smallest in the class, and her 'pushing' might move their shoulders two inches from the starting point. I am not advocating violence, but a one year old pushing someones shoulder for 2 inches is not violence. She was "invited to take another break" in the office. When I called back after receiving this voice mail, I was told that after they had spoken to the Owner of the School (the same one that was their when Matthew started there at age two!!) it had been decided that "I was going to be invited to contact a Behaviour Coach". What????? She is ONE (ok, almost two) and this is the second SHOVE. WHAT????????? When I got to the school and asked about the coach, she told me it was free (good thing!!) and that they would help set up a plan for me to follow at home so that she could get better. I looked at her, getting a little pissy at this point, if the truth be told and I said, "I have to be honest here... I don't have these problems at home. Is this coach going to talk to you all too about what further steps could be taken HERE as a little extra boost to the No thank you routine?" She said that the coach would coincide the plan set up for home with school... Somehow, I doubt a coach they are employing is going to do things my way, rather than their way, which, have you noticed, isn't working??

Before I made it to the center on Thursday, after Wednesday and the voice mail about the Behaviour Coach on Thursday.... I KNEW where this was going - and I stopped at a different center on my way there. I LOVED IT and although the money is materially more - I was highly considering this option - but they didn't have room until she turns two - 30 days from then. I thought about this option all night, and just really tried to determine if the additional cost was a possibility. It is, but not an easy one!! It won't come easy....

This morning, I was sure I wanted to move her. If I could get two weeks from now, I would give two weeks notice, get my deposit back and make it through the next 30 days at this daycare center with no toddler abilities at all. (It worked for Matthew because he was the easiest kid I've ever met!! Say no once, done deal.)

Maia was in an orphanage, where it was survival of the fittest for 16 months, until she was 18 months old. Maia has a stubborn streak. Maia wants what she wants, and is used to pulling it out of the other kids hands around her to get it. If they take it from her, she is accustomed to taking it back. That's the way the orphanage was. The workers there couldn't and didn't mettle in every 'fight' the kids had. 16 months, this is what she knows. Maia has been in this center for 3 months, this particular class room for a grand total of 9 days. Maia doesn't have kids her age at home to share with - it's all hers. Matthew doesn't want her toys. (However she does want some of Matthew's.... his computer, his cell phone, etc...) Her interaction with other kids occurs at daycare. I've had to discipline Maia in ways I never had to with Matthew. Sometimes it takes more than I think it will to get her to feel 'remorse' for her actions. She's used to putting up a wall with her feelings, no one came to her aid before in the orphanage - so her emotions are harder to break than kids who have been in a loving, happy home for the same 18 months.

So, Behaviour Coach. Day 2. Yesterday.

Today, 3:50... do you see a pattern?? I get a call from daycare. My boss is with me at the time so I don't get it. I can hear about her pushing incident in a minute. SO, I call them back and "After speaking with the owner, we'd like to INVITE YOU to a Parent University class that the owner is holding on Wednesday night from 7-9 p.m. to go over behaviour techniques you can try with your children". (Side note - for the 11 years we have now been affiliated with this center (Matthew stopped going a year ago) these Parent University classes are marketed for parents at their wits end with unruly kids at home. How to help. Ideas on potty training. (I went to this ONE for Matthew years ago - it was a JOKE and their techniques would NEVER have worked for Matthew. Mind you when I potty trainned Matthew my way, he had NO ACCIDENTS. EVER. NOT ONE. and I was a working parent then too so it's not like I was home with him all day and sat him there for 8 hours or something to be able to say this. My way for Matthew, no accidents.) Anyway, I never went to any other classes because Matthew beat to his own drummer too, and was EASY. So, my thoughts on having to attend this (AND TALK TO A BEHAVIOUR COACH) is starting to really tick me off!! SHE'S FINE AT HOME PEOPLE. Do you think perhaps some kids need to know a little more who is in authority, to be give a stern look and a solid NO and perhaps even holding her hand if she is going to 'swat' or 'shove' someone, and look her in the eye to say no. That's not mean, that's not spanking, that's not yelling, that's authority and discipline. "Maia, no thank you." PUH-LEEZE.

Ok, so after being offended and wanting laugh that I am the one they are trying to change her (what have I done wrong?? She is 'acting up' in your class with your teachers - not with me. She knows better with me!! Anyway, so I'm already getting mad, and she adds on the phone this afternoon, "And also, if there is ANY more aggressive behaviours, Maia will be DISINVITED TO ATTEND the school for 30 days." She'll be suspended for 30 days, no notice. That day, that's it. So, I asked, "what behaviours?" Shoving, pushing, biting... OK, let me get this straight. To date, she has bitten ONCE. ONCE. and on the SECOND time, at age 1, she will be suspended. I understand this for older children, MAYBE, even then I would give more chances and stricter immediate consequences to the child. This would only hurt the parents. I'm a single mother of two. Next offense could happen in an hour, or 3 weeks from now - and with no notice she'll be gone. Ridiculous. She isn't violent. A teacher in the class told me yesterday (day 2) that they ALL push each other - and for some reason - she's the one getting in 'trouble'. Yes, a teacher told me this. Could I say something and get her in trouble for telling me that. Probably. Do I want her to stay at this center? LORD NO. I just want to make it though 30 days. At the end of today's 4 pm call, I asked how she was being today. They came back on and said "SHe's had a WONDERFUL day." Great.

On the way home, I stop on the school I visited yesterday and signed up. I pleaded to try to be admitted early if possible - no such luck, but Oct. 13 it is! Now, how many days can I get out of the old center before she 'sneezes' and is out on her butt??

I get to the old center at 6:10. Guess where Maia is - two hours after my phone call. Sitting up front at the office. That's it. She's been disinvited to attend the center. Can you speak like grown ups to grown ups please? Ok, you've suspended her for 30 days, I am giving my two week notice. (They aren't sure yet if I'll get my deposit back.... they've never seen the OTHER side of me, I'd better get EVERY PENNY. I'm stupid enough to pay more to get it back to make a point than to let them keep it.)

So, Tuesday. ALL IS GOOD. Friday, she's been disinvited to attend the center. (What a crock!! I don't even want her there now because I truly can not hear them talk without being disgusted or wanting to burst out laughing. Disinvited to attend.... UGH!!!)
I now have 30 days, 4 full weeks of no day care coverage to fill - beginning Monday. No real ideas yet. A day or two, yeah. 4 weeks - wow. that'll be different. Any volunteers?? :)

The new school is well aware of what I'm dealing with. They've already said, first of all, she's one/two. Second of all, she is still non-verbal and this often seen in kids who are still non-verbal. I asked very pointedly today if they've dealt with shoving and pushing, and maybe even biting and they said yes. No one has ever been kicked out, and if it ever came to that, it would be after MONTHS of trying different things (for different kids) etc.

I thanked her profusely for saying that no one had ever been KICKED OUT rather than saying that no one had never been disinvited to attend the school... and am POSITIVE they have the knowledge and skills needed to see that different children are different, there is no 100% formula for all kids, and certainly not one that doesn't show your authority over them, no matter how nice you try to be. I'm all for being nice and trying things the calm cool and collected way, I'm not in to violence, but I also am not in to kids walking over me or being disrespectful. But if they don't respond to NO,or redirection, or books on the subject, or timeouts, or spanking if necessary, THEN MAYBE you'd have no choice but to suspend them. (LIke I'm going to find day care for 30 days and then bring her back?? PLEASE!) The new school already has books on hitting and biting, etc. and one thing they do if it's a problem is SPEAK about the specific offense, and read the book, and lend them to parents to do at home too. This is one example. The old school. "Maia, no thank you." Yeah, that works really well - HA! In my family we use no thank you to say we don't care for any more carrots. Or as an answer to the question, "Do you want to play a game"? Answer: "No, thank you." If Maia hit her brother - She would start with a definite NO and then have to hug and kiss him if she repeated it would be a definite time out with many references to what she did wrong and stern looks.

Anyway - you all get it. I'm sure of it. I'm not asking them to spank her. I'm not asking them to SCREAM at her. I'm asking for common sense in dealing with a toddler (in this case from a different background, but I don't think this has much at all to do with this!!) and I'm asking for more than her SECOND BITE or third shove/offense to not result in a suspension. Yeah, she'll learn a LOT from that at this age. Brilliant philosophy.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Colds stink!! or do they??...

well, i think maia has a cold. i thought it was allergies, but i don't think so anymore. today was the first time she was actually cranky since i've known her!! but the sad thing is, when i realized that she was cranky, i was overly sugary sweet (more than my usual sweet self!! ha ha) why did it take an illness to be SO nice?? anyway, despite her crankiness, she became the happiest little thing. i'm guessing the meds helped a little too.... but it does go to show that a little extra attention and a softer voice goes a long way too.

she was snuggly and is SO in to reading now that we had some lovely moments before bedtime. i was going to put her to bed early, but she fussed (VERY unlike her!!) when i made the move to put her to bed. so i caved in, and dragged out the goodnights tonight, for about 30-45 minutes!! we said our prayers, i sang (yes, I sang!) and then we read a couple of books. she had no problem going to bed after that and that was the BEST yet snuggling - awesome. she was more than ready for bed by the time i decided to put her there, but at that point i could have sat with her for a lot longer and snuggled!

i'm glad she's so interested in reading now. she liked flipping through books before, and turning pages, but now she actually SEES the pictures and points and says... something... LOL.

In fact, one of the books we're reading is from Kazakhstan and it is in Russian, so we just look at those pictures and make up our own story. It's her favorite book right now, and we have no idea what it's saying! oh well. it's still fun! :)

school continues to go well, so far! week two begins. let's hope it continues as well as it's started.

that's all for tonight, i have a kitchen to clean and then i need to watch some football, and then i need to get some sleep before that stinkin' 4:50 a.m. alarm!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

School has begun

well, like it or not, the school year has started. so far, so good. no real stress yet. :) matthew has certainly enjoyed himself so far which is good. just a little homework thus far... i'm assuming more is to come... yuck.

football started tonight! yeah. gotta love football. gotta love it even more when the redskins look miserable! :) double yeah!!

maia is doing more and more. wow, she seems to be getting 'old' already! i guess knowing her 7 months would bring about a few changes... :) we have a single step in our living room, and she can now go down it easily, in the past 24 hours. before then, she was sitting to go down. then she learned to go to the edge and use the (middle) of the railing to help her get up. then recently, she'd sort of get a running start and kind of run off of the step and her momentum would take her feet away from it before she regained control. well, last night, she took a step, and that was that. just decided to try it and she did. she always goes down with her right leg first so far, but i'm guessing she'll branch out eventually and use her left leg too.

she LOVES raisins. two boxes for a snack are nothing for her. she would eat many more if i let her.

she LOVES cheese. any cheese!! she would eat it all day long if i let her. i don't. depending on other protein she's eaten, i don't serve her any. but since she eats so little other protein (atleast meat...) i often will give cheese if nothing else is cutting it. i do give her other proteins though too to make up for the lack of meat... eggs, cheese, yogurt, cheese, milk, cheese, fish, cheese, shrimp, cheese, lobster, cheese, cheese, milk, cheese, milk, cheese. :) did i tell you, she is just like matthew used to be! she'll gobble down fish, and shrimp and lobster, but turn her nose up at regular kid food. i hate to tell her, but i can't afford lobster every week. (my parents bought the special treat when we visited their house for matthew's birthday!) it was awesome! anyway, there are definitely things she likes, and definitely things she does NOT.

i'm tired after three mornings of the alarm going off at 4:50... i don't have to get up that early, but that gives me quiet time in the morning to myself that i don't get any other time. all summer, that went by the wayside, but i missed the quiet in the house and time to be alone, so with the start of the new year, i started it again. truthfully, i couldn't get up this morning because i stayed up too late watching the RNC, but otherwise, we haven't watched TV the other evenings so that we could wind down more easily. it really helps to be quiet and get more tired, faster, if you turn off the tv, and get off the computer!! of course, tonight i'm online at the moment and watching football, but i can tell i won't last too much longer!!

my parents will be coming up here on saturday. since football season has begun, they will be attending all the ravens home games... with matthew. therefore, at least 8 weekends this fall they will be visiting. on monday, however they are headed to my sisters house to watch her 4 children while they (my sister and her hubby) go out of the country for a week... Good timing, regan!! There are two hurricanes on the way and you are leaving mom and dad with your four kids on you live on the coast of SC! i can just imagine my parents having to evacuate with 4 kids.... it makes me laugh, actually, but not really.

in reality. they have a plan all figured out, so all should be ok. let's just hope, for everyones sake that these hurricanes turn out to sea or fizzle out with no need for evacuation! pray for safe weather and travels for everyone!!

ok, i need to go eat something for dinner. last night i realized i hadn't eaten at about 11 pm, so i had to grab a quick snack to get me through the night. crazy! i don't forget to eat breakfast, i don't forget to eat lunch, but i do often forget to eat dinner. ???? i don't know how or why!!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Is it possible? Time flies!

I can't believe the 3 day weekend is over! I can't believe SUMMER is over!! It flew by for us! Can you believe tomorrow marks the FIFTH MONTH since I arrived home with Maia for good?? FIVE MONTHS?? No wonder she is changing so much - she's growing up FAST. Good grief! I have now known her almost almost seven months. That's a LONG time, especially for little ones and their development. Amazing. I can't think about how much time has passed too much, or I get sad. But we're having such a wonderful time, I can' truly say these months have been amazing.

I'm sad summer is over, it's such a carefree time. However, I'm ready for more structure and routine for a while. I can't believe Matthew is starting 8th grade tomorrow. 8th grade!! How is that possible? He is all set with his supplies and schedule and gear for tomorrow. He did it almost all himself. He's growing up. It only took occassional prompting...

Today was a glorious day with the kids and getting a few things accomplished around the house. We did go to the pool and enjoyed that a lot!! I wish it were open a few more weekends. It was PACKED today.

Well, with so much to ponder and wonder about, I'm headed to bed. The coffee pot is set to brew at 5:15, so I'd best try to get some sleep, NOW. (I'll be lucky if I'm actually asleep by 11:00.)