Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Just a busy week

Whew. We made it back home in 24.5 hours. Because my husband is a complete FREAKZOID who does not need to eat, drink, sleep or pee.

Left Grandma's around 3:00. I drove up to St. Augustine, where we stopped, a little longer than we'd planned, for a yummy dinner. Then I drove again for another few hours. Switched with David mid-Georgia, a little before midnight.

He stopped once around 4am for gas, and I made the kids take a bathroom break. Then he drove again until 9:30, just into NJ. We stopped for breakfast and wake-up time, but after a half hour of breakfast, I thought David's head was going to explode. "We have to get going!"

Ok, so by 10:30, I was behind the driver's seat again, cruising along the NJ Turnpike. Didn't stop until right before CT, for a quick bathroom break, and then again in Farmington to hand the keys to Grandma's condo over to my father. Then straight home. We made it by 3:40 pm!

I took Sofia to ballet on Saturday morning, but turns out it was closed for vacation week. Bummer. David had to go into the office to get some stuff, but I called him to come home when my friend came to pick up the boys for a play date.

David left for the airport (to go to Germany) around 12:30, and it was just me and Sofia for the afternoon. Ahhhh.

Met up with the boys back at shul in the evening for the Purim Carnival. Sofia had a blast, and we stayed until the very end. I won a whole bunch of prizes in the raffle: gift cards for iTunes and the Arcade, half off membership to USY next year, and reserved parking on Kol Nidre!

Sunday morning I had to go back to shul for the Megillah reading (Book of Esther), but I left the kids (plus one extra sleep-over kid) home to play. We really did not much all day. Very lazy. In the evening I had chorus rehearsal, but I had to leave early because Sofia had gotten makeup all over herself and the boys could not get her into the bathtub. When I got home, they finally had gotten her into the bath, but the water was ice cold, and there was still tons of makeup all over her, and she was turning purple. Ugh!

Thank Heavens they all went back to school on Monday! I ran some errands and eventually made it to the gym, then shower and dress and lunch and pick up Sofia to go to the day school. We had a Shushan Purim celebration (in a "walled city", Purim is a two-day holiday), and Sam's class read snippets of the Megillah plus a storybook about it in English for all the other kids. Lots of costumes.

I started working on the school Yearbook, so of course I'm obsessed already. I think I'm making good progress. I'm trying to use Pages instead of my old version of InDesign. It's interesting; means I have to do a lot more photo editing in iPhoto first, including making all the black-and-white adjustments before I ever place the photos on the page. But I think it'll be cool.

Last night I went to my first ASHPAC (Ashland Parent Advisory Council) meeting, for a screening of the film "Monica and David" about a couple with Down syndrome who get married. It was interesting. I felt that both of them were excessively sheltered. I was struck by how upset Monica got when her routine was interrupted because they were moving. I can't imagine Sofia getting that upset about change; she seems to thrive on our chaos.

It was also interesting going to the meeting. We discussed the film a bit after it was over. And no one introduced themselves; I had to ask names. Everyone was nice, and most were familiar faces, but still strangers to me. Involved parents of kids with IEPs. But I still felt like the New Kid.

Today I had my lovely acupuncture session...aaaaahhhhhh...........

Then I got to visit the new classroom where Sofia will be pulled for her academics. Yes, we are going SubSep - the sub-separate classroom. She will still be attached to her regular homeroom, for things like art, music, pe, and lunch, but she'll get all her academic work done in this much smaller group. I am very excited about it, actually. There are only 5 other kids, so for Sofia it will be just like being in her MWJDS class. Same size classroom as her homeroom of 20 kids, so plenty of space. Lots of work stations all around the room. Very language-intense. And two of her best friends are in there!

The only thing I am worried about it one little boy, who we see at pick-up at the end of the day. He is in that classroom too, and I'm worried that Sofia might mimic some of his behaviors. I had a bit of a chat with the Team Leader; they are well on top of not letting anyone pick up anyone else's unwanted behaviors. But my little lady can be quite the mimic when she wishes. So hopefully she will see right away that he is not someone to mimic.

I'm excited for her to make the transition. I've spent all this time pushing for full inclusion, but really, at this point she does not do any of her academic work with the rest of her class anyway. She is either pulled into a corner to work with a SpEd teacher, or taken to another classroom for work. So that's not inclusion. I think this will be much better for her, and she will be able to progress faster without all the distractions of the large class.

On the other end of the (you'll pardon the pun) spectrum, Mr. Samuel took the math placement assessment today in preparation for Ashland High School. He took it at MWJDS, under the guidance of his learning specialist there, following all his IEP-outlined accommodations. But poor Sam absolutely melts under the pressure of a "test", and he was incredibly stressed. He finished a little more this evening with me as proctor, but there were things he'd done last year that he just could not remember. He is convinced he will get placed into a lower math class if he doesn't get a perfect score, and he is determined to be in Honors Math. It means a lot to him, since he also knows he will be in the lowest level for Reading (because that's where he will get the supports he needs).

So we'll see how it all goes. We'll hand the test into the middle school tomorrow.