Yesterday, Sept 8, I received a call from Shriners stating that after consulting Abby's MRI, Dr.Hennessey is going with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy for Abby rather than an orthopedic diagnosis and wanted to refer her to a neurologist. I was able to assure Shriners that we had already seen a neurologist. Our son James also has very mild CP.
Tonight we ordered a program for Abby called Total Immersion to help her in English acquisition. According to the ads it's just as good as Rosetta Stone but a fraction of the price. Well, I can't vouch for the "just as good" yet--but it only cost $49 for levels 1, 2 and 3 while Rosetta Stone was $179 for Level 1 alone. I have been having Abby work on A,B,C's, writing her name, names of colors, counting, adding and subtraction. Today she sat on my lap while I read 4 stories. I think she got the most enjoyment out of "Green Eggs and Ham" and "Hop On Pop" by Dr. Seuss. I can put a lot of action and fun vocal intonation into those.
For anyone adopting who might be following our timeline: I forgot to mention that we received Abby's Certificate of Citizenship 3 1/2 to 4 weeks after arriving on U.S. soil. We applied for her Social Security number on Aug 17 and received the card just a few days later. (I can't believe I didn't write either the date for the COC or the SS card on my calendar.)
This has been a pretty hectic week. Last Sunday after church we loaded up our motor home and drove up into the South Hills where to my surprise we found a nice, private spot where the kids could wade and play. Abby was all excited when she saw me loading her swimming suit. I tried to explain that we were not going to actually swim but just get our feet wet. Once she stuck her piggies in that COLD shallow creek, however, she quickly figured out what mommy was talking about. I was quite a sight there in my slippery-bottomed sandals with Caleb, Steven and Abby all clinging to ME for balance as we slid and tripped our way along over the slippery-topped rocks. My sweetie served up some yummy hamburgers and hot dogs which we ate by lamplight. Sunday night was actually rather chilly and we all appreciated the campfire over which Knight James so gallantly roasted marshmallows for his lovely mother. Monday morning several of the kids were out playing that Scheri was the Queen and Billy and James were bodyguards. I'm not sure what Caleb and Steven's actual titles were--but they performed their duties quite rambunctiously. Of course, when I got out there with my camera, everyone started fighting. A little later all of us headed up the stream "to the Promised Land." I had Abby's hand; Kevin had Steven; and Teresa/Scheri traded off holding on to Caleb part of the time. I think everyone had a great time. Several were collecting pretty rocks from the bottom of the creek bed; I think all the boys were holding on to sticks. Even I had a stick for awhile but it was too wimpy to be of much help in keeping me upright. Hey, I never did actually fall but came pretty close a couple times. Everyone was being a pretty good sport. And Abby--who can trip walking on flat ground--just trekked right along over all those river-bottom rocks and even some sticks and a tree trunk or two. Back at camp we dried off, had popsicles and before long it was time to make lunch. Scheri and Abby were big helps--Scheri spread mayo; Abby unwrapped sliced cheese; my official task was to place the meat slices on the bread and fairly apportion the mac and cheese.
We got home and let everyone put their school clothes away in their dressers. I think pretty much everyone had to hit the tub or shower. I had the fun job of writing names on all of Caleb and Steven's individual crayons, pencils, boxes, etc prior to returning them to the appropriate back pack. Kevin's equally fun task was trying to get the 3rd computer hooked up for school tomorrow. (IDVA supplies computers, books, science equipment, etc for their students--so that goes for both James and Teresa)
Tuesday morning I took Caleb and Steven to the elementary for their 1st day of 1st grade. Wouldn't you know it--we were late. Elementary school starts at 8:15 this year rather than 8:30 and high school starts at 8:04. Then I took Billy on over to Twin for STRIVE, a special ed program designed to give older students more hands-on living skills. YEP, late there, too. Bah humbug! Then I headed for Walmart and was so glad I had purchased 99% of our school supplies way earlier. Good grief! Those aisles looked like fields after a grasshopper infestation--right nigh stripped bare. And no, there were not any fine-tipped dry-erase markers either in the school section or the home/business section--that was my only missing item on Abby's school supply list. I'd left James, Teresa and Abby at home each working on a computer doing school work. Scheri who had cheerleader practice before school got herself up and out of the house. When I got home poor Teresa said she'd had to re-start her computer about 20 times, James was watching Abby's screen rather than his own and Abby wasn't too happy when I told her she needed to do the ABC's again.
James had football practice Tuesday and his first football game on Wednesday and was so majorly stressed about both of them that he could hardly keep his mind on his studies. I am not exaggerating. However, when he found himself still alive and in one piece both after the game and after practice on Thursday, he seemed much more relaxed.
Today, Sept 9 was difficult as I'd imagined it would be. James and Teresa and Billy had school. Scheri and Abby and Caleb and Steven did not. Billy was no problem because he seems to really like Strive and has been motivated to get up and around. James and Teresa, however, were confined to their assigned computer chairs. Teresa found some assignments she had over-looked and worked on them. James, was working and working, trying to get caught up and was getting so frustrated with the whole thing. I truly considered just packing the equipment and books back into their respective boxes and returning them to IDVA. It doesn't help that I really didn't want to homeschool this year in the first place. It doesn't help that it takes so much effort to keep the little kids occupied at least somewhat positively while also having to push so hard to keep James on task.