Sunday, September 1, 2013

Playing Catch-Up

I feel like that is what I do with most of my time right now. It is quite crazy to be honest. But first, I have to catch you all up to where we are now:

Cephas, age 12, seventh grade, center on his football team. ADHD fairly well controlled now, ODD getting controlled, aggression well under control. Trying to parent the younger kids: still a major issue. Has a best friend he likes to hang out with. I love it because it gives him a chance to be with another kid without his own siblings around. Best friend, Andy, has an older sister but she is much older than him and lives elsewhere for her college.

Koren, age 9 but almost 10, fourth grade, first year playing football. Still very studious and loves to learn, read, build with legos and hang out with his friends. His friends mostly live near us, so he can play with them outside near our home. Starting to come into his own stronger personality, but still loves to snuggle (even with Mom!)

Oralee, age 7, second grade. Princess-turned-Diva-turned-well, a handful. Has MAJOR attitude going on most of the time, but we're working on it. I have a pretty good idea what could be causing some of it though. Loves reading, writing stories, playing with her dollhouse and art projects. Also loves having Mom do her nails and hair. Nearly impossible to get this child to wear regular shoes, as she strongly prefers calf- or knee-high boots.

Jeriah, age 5 almost 6, first grade. Still has Asperger's, still reads way above grade level. Comprehension is still closer to grade level though. Very advanced in math. Can do sister's second-grade homework with ease. Brought home his first spelling pre-test of first grade this week with a perfect score on all of the regular words, plus the bonus words were spelled correctly as well. The challenge words are not given on the pre-test, but he was able to orally spell those for me when I asked him to. Kid is a whiz with words! Socially still at a deficit, but that is to be expected. Has started to pick on his sister. (Part of her issue with being a handful anymore.) Demanded some dignity about his bedroom situation and moved from the "girly room" he shared with his sister to the room his brothers occupy. Now, we have a boys' room and a girls' room.

Yes, a girls' (as in plural) room. No, I didn't have a baby, but yes, we kind of, sort of, have another kid. You might remember Angel, a kid whose mother works with Hubby. Well, just before the school year started, Angel's mom's life turned a little bit upside down and things were pretty shaky there for a little bit. I offered to have Angel stay with us so that her Mom could get herself situated and some things worked out. Angel is now with us temporarily but indefinitely. We have no legal rights or claim to her, her mom has full custody of her, but she just happens to be with us most of the time. So:

Angel, age 5, kindergarten. Adjusting well to being here and starting school. Loves being in school and is so proud of her work. Can now write her name. We had about four months where I didn't really have her, so she may have learned how to do it in that time, but I just now know about it. Does an amazingly perfect cartwheel (I'm thinking gymnastics may be in her future here soon!) and has gotten over her quiet shyness for the most part.

So, if you are following along, that's five kids, two in football, two who are on the Autism Spectrum. Busy yet? Nope! Cephas and Koren are both still in Boy and Cub Scouts, respectively. We were considering putting Jeriah in our school's Scouting program, but in doing so, he would advance from Bear to Wolf and then transfer to his brothers' Pack/Troop and have to go back to being a Bear, because of the difference in the way they do their Scouts. And instead of having Oralee do formal Girl Scouts this year, I have strongly considered doing Juliettes with her. It's basically like Girl Scouts for homeschoolers. She would do her activities and earn her badges and all that, but we would do it independent of a group. It is basically what ended up happening in her first year as a Daisy as well. And since we have Angel, she would also do Juliettes as well.

If that isn't all enough, you might remember we have three dogs: Tink, Tiny and Freddy. Tink and Tiny are Chihuahuas and Freddy is a Cocker Spaniel. To mix things up a bit, we added a cat, Phineas or Phinny for short. When we got him, we were pretty sure that Freddy wanted to eat him, but within a few days, they got along well enough. Now, Phinny does his own thing, the dogs do their own thing and all is well.

Hubby just passed his two-year anniversary at his work. There's a lot of stress there right now because he works in a restaurant and the restaurant chain was bought out by another company late last year and they have made some changes since the purchase. Well, on top of that, his store is also going through a Revitalization Phase. They are getting a full-store remodel and they are staying open throughout the whole thing, minus only ONE day! Can you imagine?! I'm so thankful that I don't work there. On top of being fired for being insubordinate to the General Manager (he's a friend of mine), I'd want to pull my hair out at all of the changes going on.

Speaking of changes, I have a couple of new things going on in my own life. I have started back to school. I started back in classes in Spring. I took 16.5 credit hours (4 classes) during the regular 10-week quarter, 4.5 credit hours (1 class) for the accelerated 5-week quarter and another 4.5 credit hours (1 class) for the accelerated 3-week quarter. I was able to knock 25.5 credit hours out in one quarter alone. For the summer quarter, I have slowed it down to only 18 credit hours (4 classes) and for fall, I am slowing it down just a bit more to the smallest amount that I am even willing to take and will only be taking 12.5 credit hours (3 classes), although I am struggling with that decision, feeling that I should still take 4 classes. Oh - and for my crazy Spring quarter? Term GPA of 3.588.

And to finish off the changes that will catch you up the rest of the way, I have started caring for another one of Hubby's co-worker's children. Her name is Paytin. I have her only part-time as I have a traditional class during the day, three days a week which is when her parents would be needing me to watch her. Instead, I watch her on my non-class weekdays. The very first day I watched her, she was only 15 days old. I actually had to check and make sure it was legal to watch her as I do daycare part-time, but am license-exempt. It is actually because I am license-exempt that I was able to take her. Her mom went back to work before Paytin was even two weeks old. I am in awe of her, to be honest. No way was I ready to go back to work that soon after having my kids. But she is determined. Both of Paytin's parents are going to be taking college courses this fall in addition to working and raising a newborn. They are going to be taking online classes. I haven't the slightest idea how they are going to do it all, but they are young, they are in love, they are determined and they are working hard to make the best life they can for tiny little Paytin and themselves.

And I'm pretty sure that you are now all caught up with our lives here. Stay tuned though. I plan to update more than every six months.