My Family

My Family
Here we all are!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Not borrowing trouble

Again Callie has amazed us.  She came home with a spelling test this week that her teacher allowed her to take orally.  She spelled - bought, spread, grocery, these, write and emergency perfectly!  A+ 100%  This coming from the girl who might not walk, didn't speak at all till she was past 3 yrs. old etc. etc. etc.

The other day she was turning the lamp on - just carefully turning the knob.  This may not sound amazing to anyone else, but to us, this is completely amazing.  Just a year ago she was throwing lamps down or across the room on a fairly regular basis.

It is a great thing to remind ourselves of the humongous strides she has made.  It's so easy to get bogged down on what she is unable to do, or the behaviors you fear will never go away - especially as she gets bigger and we get older.  Those are legitimate fears, however, I remind myself of the biblical wisdom in Matthew 6:34 which states "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of it's own." - Amen to that!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Martin Luther King day in school

The charter school Ella and Jacob attend does not take Martin Luther King day off. It's our first year there, so I'm not sure why that is, but they were only back two days from their long winter break before MLK day, so perhaps that is why.
I asked them in what ways the school or teachers recognized the day. Ella said that basically they just said - Happy Martin Luther King day. Not quite what I was hoping for. Jacob said they read a book detailing Dr. King's life. He said as his teacher was reading everyone turned around to look at Jacob. Apparently he is now the only black kid in his class, so when they were discussing segregation they naturally looked at him. He didn't like that - who could blame him. I told him that likely the kids looked at him because they had never heard there was a time when kids of different colors weren't allowed to be in school together. And I do believe that that is probably true. Everyone wants to believe that we can be color blind, but we aren't, nor do I necessarily think we should be.
In a Newsweek article from Sept. 2009 titled "See Baby Discriminate" three groups of families were asked to discuss racial equality with their children. The first group were simple given multiculturally themed videos, the second group used the videos and were to follow up with a discussion and the third group were given a checklist of topics, but no videos. Out of about 30 families in the third group - 5 abruptly quit the study. Two told the researchers, "We don't want to have these conversations with our child. We don't want to point out skin color." Hey guess what everybody - they've already noticed! The study went on to discover that those who thought their goal of "teaching" their kids to be colorblind actually taught the opposite. When asked, "Do your parents like black people?" Fourteen percent said outright, "No, my parents don't like black people." 38% answered that they didn't know. By ignoring people's race parents actually were telling their kids different must be bad.
This is my opinion, but living in a suburb where diversity exists, but as I stated Jacob is still the only black kid in his class, we, as parents, have to talk about it - in a positive way - but we must address that race does exist. How do we do that? Well, I'd say taking advantage of Martin Luther King day, for instance, is a good start. Discuss who he was and what he did. Go to one of the many special events that go on the weekend before the holiday. Send them to me - I'll tell them the story of how I got to shake his hand as a little girl. Beyond that, seek out multicultural friends and don't be afraid to discuss their differences - notice the difference in hair, skin etc. Don't make it the focus, just work it in to the conversation. I have an adult son who made me aware of using color when describing someone - everyone - "my friend Mary - she's white, has blond hair and blue eyes, about my height" - it is a part of our description and our reality and not only used for people who's skin is different from mine. I always ask my kids what color the person's skin is when they describe them, it's simply a part of their description, not the focus.
Thankfully, on Wed. the kids came home to tell me they had a special program about Dr. King, his legacy and how people are different and the same. Yes were are, but talking about our differences is just as important as pointing out how much the same we are - in our house different is good - really good.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Green flag us!

Late Sunday afternoon Shannon developed a crudie eye which I knew was pink eye. Jonathan and Jill both had it and I've seen it many times. So, I started flushing it like crazy with a baking soda water mix I read about as a natural treatment. By Mon. morning it was hardly even red - but - I knew if I didn't get Dr. ordered drops school would be a problem.
I really didn't want to have to drag Shannon into the Doc's office and Mark was on an overnight with Ella and Jacob, so I called in to see if they'd just order the drops for me. When the nurse called she asked me to tell her the symptoms, which I did, but she quizzed me a bit and I really had to bite my tongue to not just yell - I'm pretty sure I've seen more cases of pink eye just in my family then you have at work - but I managed to control my tongue. It's really a pride issue, I guess, as we've had so many times that we've had to run to school to change out a G-tube because the medical staff had no idea what to do when one has fallen out.
I wish that there was a way to flag our kids files so that staff could know - these people know what they're doing! Maybe I should market that - green for knowledgeable parents, yellow for parents open to learning or on their way and red for parents who call and freak out about every little thing. Boy, that would sure save me a lot of time and frustration and it's, of course, really about me isn't it?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday mornings

Sunday mornings are generally a little hectic around here. We had everyone dressed etc. and ready to go except Shannie and Chad. I sent Ella and Jacob out, then Christian and Callie down the basement stairs. Mark was concerned about them being out by the van because it was running. I said I was sure it was OK for a minute, but then said that he should probably head down - more because our van lift is acting up and has to be hand cranked until we can get it fixed.

I finished getting Shannie and Chad ready and headed down in the elevator. When we got outside Mark said he found Callie kneeling in front of the exhaust pipe of the van like she was having a facial. Yikes! Somedays that girl just cuts years off our lives I'm sure.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Giggles on the couch

Tonight there was a family film on TV - Change of Plans - in which a couple without children inherit 4 children due to tragic circumstances. It was fun to watch with the kids and a bit of a tearjerker - completely unrealistic - in just a few weeks the kids all fall in love with their new parents - right.......

During one commercial break there was an ad promoting adoption - specifically older adoption. The kids would say things like, "now I have a mom and dad to tuck me in" and "now I have a mom to read me a story every day" - ah, so cute. Then one kid says, "sometimes my mom lets me and my sister stay up late and watch a movie" to which Ella and Jacob shout - "ah, no fair you never do that!" Then Ella says - "wait, we're doing that now aren't we?" Well, technically it wasn't late, but glad she recognized she didn't get such a raw deal.