Random life updates

Do any of you follow the story threads of our lives and then wonder what happened since we forgot to update?  Here’s some updates:

Little Kitty’s IBS and health:

  • She had idiopathic elevated calcium levels (meaning they don’t know why).  This was the best possible outcome since the other outcomes where they know were all bad.  First she got steroids for two weeks.  Then she got taken off the hydrolized diet and put on a low calcium diet and now her tummy seems to be all better.  No more IBS even when she steals her favorite people food (chicken).  It is mysterious.
  • Once her calcium levels got balanced, she got to have her teeth cleaned.  Unfortunately 7 teeth also had to be pulled.  Also it is insane how even though these costs are expensive, they are waaay less expensive than costs of the same thing in paradise.

DH’s relatives:

  • The one with the abusive baby daddy has moved back home.  She’s not getting along with her dad because he says she frequently does dangerous things when taking care of her son and he tells her not to.  Her step-mom is doing well with chemo and is really enjoying taking care of the baby while her step-daughter works at the Walmart a few towns over.  I have no idea how the menu planning stuff went down or if now that the oldest girl is back she’s taken over some of the responsibilities.
  • The other one who was a teen mom is still living with her two kids with her husband near her biological mom across the country.  She seems to be doing fine.

Kitty saga:

  • I don’t think I ever mentioned this, but my sister ended up taking a second kitten from our back-yard cat saga since we were only allowed to take two cats with us to Paradise.  Her two still love each other and my sister seems to have bonded with them.  Problem:  her new roommate brought a bully cat and boy kitty started peeing on things in protest.  So now her two cats stay in her bedroom suite during the day, mostly sleeping while the bully cat roams the rest of the house.  :(

DC1 at public school:

  • In the end, DC1 transitioned well to public school for 5th grade in Paradise.  I think it was good that it was still an elementary school.
  • Zie seems to be doing fine at middle school for 6th grade so far this year.  Zie has to do some testing to get admitted to the GT pull-out program.   One of hir friends from private school is in orchestra with hir, which helps.  They should both transition from 5th grade orchestra to 6th grade orchestra at the semester.  (DC1 decided against another year of trumpet, which means zie has to have weekly violin lessons to ease the transition since zie is a year behind.  Zie is surprisingly not that awful– much better than my memories of that first year of my sister practicing.)
  • Zie tested into 7th grade advanced math, which is really nice.  This and orchestra are two big advantages over private school.  I do miss having a foreign language though.  DC1 had Spanish as an after school program last year (they also had French, but only for native speakers(!), so we dropped that), but it doesn’t appear that anything like that is available here.
  • The after school program is cheap ($115/mo and goes until 6:30pm) and the bus stop is literally at the corner of our house.  For now we’re doing after school instead of having hir take the bus home so we don’t have to worry about hir being latch-key when DH is out of town for work.  The law in our state is vague… it basically says, you’re ok so long as something bad doesn’t happen, but if something bad happens you made the wrong decision.  If we still had a home phone I’d feel a bit better about a latch-key situation.  If we do go latch-key DC1 will need a cell-phone.

DC2:

  • Returning to the Montessori here has been great.  So great we decided not to start K this year and to leave hir in Montessori another year.  Then we may skip K next year if zie doesn’t get into the dual-language program.  We’re playing it by ear a year at a time.
  • Zie really does miss hir friends, but many of them were heading off to public school anyway (either K or Pre-K), so…  And we’re happy zie is back to more academics and less of the creepy religious stuff.  (Nothing against non-creepy religious stuff, but even though DC1 and DC2 both attended a year of preschool from the same Lutheran branch, DC1’s was not at all creepy and DC2’s was full of not preschool appropriate stories.  Just comparing the children’s bibles they each got was pretty crazy.  Like, it wasn’t our imagination.)  Hir reading and math abilities have skyrocketed since we got back.

I think those are the big things in my online blog persona life.  If anybody cares.

16 Responses to “Random life updates”

  1. Leah Says:

    That’s a bummer that paradise had crappy preschool. Well, it was a cost thing, right? Hey, did DC2 ever stop biting? Our little one is a biter too :-( We have lots of talks about not biting, and she has the words to express her frustrations, but she still just up and bites. Sometimes randomly. It seems to be something like 1-2 a day. I think it is still linked to teething; she has one stubborn tooth that is only half way out, and she’ll complain that her mouth hurts, but it might just be picking up on what we’re discussing.

    Anyway, her daycare/preschool (it’s a head start school that we lucked into somehow) is really good about it. They don’t blame or anything, and they work with the kids. But her teacher did let me know that we’d have to develop a behavior plan if she continues to bite, since she’s over the age of 2 now.

    Any advice?

  2. Leigh Says:

    Thanks for the update! I enjoy hearing about their schooling. How old your kids are getting shows me just how long I have been following your blog!

  3. Nanani Says:

    French only for native speakers is almost certainly a literature and culture class, not a language lesson like your typical “foreign language” class. Makes me wonder where that school is!
    For background, I’m French Canadian outside Quebec and we (well, my mother’s generation really) have had to fight for education in OUR language. The result is French classes that give similar content to English classes for native English speakers – reading and essay writing, not memorizing verbs or speaking practice or whatever it is you’d do at that grade level to LEARN a language.

    Keeping the language learners (almost always anglophones) out is a big component of making sure everyone in the class stays in the French (= minority language) frame of mind instead of switching to English, too.

    /2cents of minor topic

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      They had French for non-native speakers, but it was at a different school. They used to have both but apparently there wasn’t enough interest in French for non-native speakers. I’m bummed about the lack of after school enrichment activities other than sports at DC2’s current school. Zie is missing robotics and Spanish. And it would be nice to not have to drive places to get things like extra math enrichment (which exists but is on Saturdays).

      • Nanani Says:

        Looks like you found a school with a community of “my people” around!

        I hope the activities you want pop up sooner or later.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I think they probably won’t. It’s just not the culture around here (compared to last year in Paradise). If DC1 were really into sports we’d be set.

      • chacha1 Says:

        A friend of mine was talking about a free smartphone language app that she and her brother love. I know DC2 doesn’t have a cell phone (yet) but maybe there is something comparable that is PC-based, if screen learning isn’t a turnoff. I don’t know how I would have dealt with it at that age, but then, when I was that age I had to walk uphill both ways to get to my school that had zero computers :-) … for math: Khan Academy?

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        DC1 has duo-linguo. It’s pretty cool but not very smart.

        We do have math stuff, it’s just on Saturdays and I’m complaining about having to drive hir instead of it being after school at school. So not a real complaint. DC1 maxed out Khan Academy before Algebra last year in school.

      • chacha1 Says:

        LOL your kid is smart. A good problem to have!

  4. Cloud Says:

    Glad to hear your kids are both doing well! Bummer about the after school programs, though. Would your school be open to a new after school program if you footed the bill? That was our fall back plan if we didn’t get into the language program. Even if we paid the entire fee for the program I’d found, it would have been a fraction of what a private school would cost, and we would probably have gotten other parents who could pay, too. The downside was we would have had to organize the thing. That sounded less onerous than driving to the private school we were considering, so we were up for it. I don’t know how the school administrators would take this sort of offer in your neck of the woods. In my little corner of paradise, they were thrilled with the idea when I asked about it. Of course, we won our school lottery and got into the program we wanted… so I don’t know if this plan would have actually worked.

    The other option I considered was hiring a college student to drive my kid to after school programs offsite. College Nannies and Tutors was my plan there.

    I am in a similar conundrum right now with respect to art. My younger daughter really loves to draw and wants lessons. I have found an art school for kids, but it means more driving for me. But… there is a coffee shop with wifi in the same shopping center, so maybe I could do some work there and it will be OK. Or I could go back to the College Nannies and Tutor chauffeur idea. GAH.

    Basically, I am left wishing for longer school days with more time for “enrichment” subjects like language, robotics, art…. Our current system is a frustrating patchwork and I’m sure it contributes to inequality, since you usually have to have the money to buy the enrichment.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      It’s a middle school and it is enormous, pretty intimidating compared to elementary schools. I don’t know what kind of infrastructure they would need to have an after school program that wasn’t either sports or the catch-all after school program DC1 is in already. They might even have after school clubs that we just don’t know about.

      Hm, just looked again at their clubs pages now that school has been going for a few weeks. It appears that their clubs (that we’ve heard nothing about, but DC1 has probably heard about) are in the mornings and some are full already. The others don’t seem to have started. It looks like there will be a math club at school starting in October, rather than just the Saturday one. Of course, before school doesn’t help since DC1 takes the bus. There’s been a rumor about a robotics club for GT students floating around but I don’t see anything on the page. (DC1 just got approved for GT.)

      Probably the next step would be to ask the mom of the other kid DC1 knew from elementary school if she knows what the options in town are for learning Spanish since hir mom is the Spanish teacher at hir private school. DC1 did read a Geraldo and Cerdita book to DC2 yesterday and seemed to understand what was going on. :)

      My mom used to have college students pick me up and drop me off from places back when she didn’t get to choose her teaching schedule and my father was working in another city. That’s definitely an option worth pursuing, but another line on the to-do list… I, too, would like my kids to be able to learn to draw. Like really learn technique, not just have fun with it. Not like the crafts they’re doing instead of social studies or language arts.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Today DC1, after much questioning, said that zie heard at afterschool that there will be clubs integrated with after school starting next week. But zie doesn’t know what. Zie thinks there’s a boardgame club. But the boardgame club listed on the school website meets before school. So we are still confused.

        Looking again at the afterschool care page, which they have finally updated some, it looks like that’s a separate “club” thing that they do and not really clubs. So probably they will be playing board games on Wednesdays for 6 weeks. Then switch to something else for the next 6 weeks.

  5. chacha1 Says:

    p.s. glad to hear Little Kitty is doing better!


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