Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Poor, ignored Penny

I just realized I am constantly updating Carol's progress, but have completely neglected to mention Penny.

Well, here it is... She's at the top of her class (And I am so not exaggerating. She scored at the very top in most of the class testing. This is a class that is well above the national average). She is loved by all. She is a model student. She has a little boyfriend, Logan. They love each other. She has a best friend, Emma. They love each other.

So, you see now why I forgot to mention all this. I feel my eye's rolling just typing this. But, there's your update.


Well. I just quit my first job. It was a very difficult decision for me to make because I am not someone who quits things easily. I just avoided phone calls for three weeks because I didn't want to tell our babysitter that the girls will not be going to her this summer. I hate to drop that kind of last minute news on her.

Steve reminded me that it's February. I think I have a problem.

On less quitty news, I had parent-teacher conferences with Carol's teacher this week. She is doing amazing. The strides she's made academically are astounding. She's gone from being at the very bottom of her class in almost everything, to the high end of average on most things. And she's so interested in school, which is new. She had talked about the stuff she was working on in class (such as a position paper as to why cats make better pets than dogs, or why students should get 50 minutes of recess every day) so I wasn't surprised when her teacher handed them to me. Instead, I was delighted.

But socially... sigh.... still a struggle. I think back to this time last year and how much better socially she is. It's hard to convey just how hard things were for her last year.

She's making progress. She invited a friend to her house... And her friend came over! She talks about the other kids and how nice they are to her. While it's a major improvement, she has these behaviors that just make her a little odd. The teacher even threw out the term Aspergers (although the more Steve and I consider it, the more unlikely it seems) and said it's quite possibly ADHD. If her behavioral tics don't improve, I'm sort of dreading those middle school years. They can be hard even on the most popular kids. For Carol, it might be a nightmare, especially considering she lives with the social queen of the world. Miss Penny.

I'm thinking Daria might be a show we should consider saving.

For now, I'm just super pleased with the progress she's made. We are so fortunate to be a part of Metcalf. I can't imagine another school that would take a kid like Carol and mold her into the awesome person she's becoming, rather than shoving her in the corner. We are lucky, lucky, lucky indeed.

Especially for a bunch of quitters.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Carol is 8 (a little late)

Last weekend was a bit crazy, so Carol's 8-year-old birthday pics are a week late. I take pictures of the girls every year in the same dress, to watch them grow. But I only took a couple of pics and I think they came out great. Happy birthday, big girl.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Feb. 17, 2012

A day that lives in infamy. Feb. 17 is Carol's birthday. This year, it happened to be her 8th birthday.

Just so happens, last Sunday night, Fife started having massive seizures. Foaming at the mouth, peeing himself, scary seizures. And like an hour after each one, he's pull himself around by his front legs and act really, really weird. It was terrifying and very sad.

Steve took him to the emergency vet that night and they said, due to his age and his lack of lifetime seizures, this new development was almost certainly a brain tumor. There was nothing we could do other than medicate him. Our vet the next day confirmed this. We can medicate him, keep him comfortable. He might last until summer.

But as the week went on, it became apparent that he was getting worse. Fast. The seizures stopped, but the medication made it hard for him to walk. And it became increasingly hard every day. By midweek, we had decided that the best thing to do would be to put him to sleep. Steve made an appointment Thursday for Monday morning.

Just, please, I asked him, not on Carol's birthday.

But the next day (which, if you weren't keeping track, was Friday. Otherwise known as Carol's birthday) he couldn't even stand up. It was incredibly sad and apparent that something needed to be done immediately. On Carol's birthday.

Pause for saddness.

Steve and I developed a complicated tale to spin for the girls when they asked about Fife. We'd tell them later in the week, but not that day.

Funny thing. They never asked. NEVER!!! They just went about their lives as if Fife was still here. It became quite a joke between Steve and I. How long would it take? Which one would figure it out first?

And then Carol had a friend over Saturday afternoon. Her first words were, "Where's your dog?"

"At the vet," Steve promptly replied.

Later that day, after BFF was gone, we told the girls. Penny was like, Yeah. That makes sense.

And Carol? The girl who didn't notice the dog was gone for a day and a half, sobbed for about 2 hours. Sobbed and cried and talked about how much she missed Fife. Normally, I'd feel a little sad about all this sorrow, but Steve and I sort of eye-rolled to each other over AFV (America's Funniest Home Videos for all you rookies out there).

So, sure. It's weird and sad not to have Fife here. But we did the right thing. Carol's birthday wasn't ruined. And we learned how dramatic a second grader can be.

Oh, and we engaged in a little retail therapy. New refrigerator anyone!


1998 to Feb. 17 2012
Pet. Friend. Grumpy old man. Miss you buddy.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentine craftiness

I've never been a very art-and-crafts kind of mom. I sort of blame myself for Carol's lack of interest on puffy paint and glitter. But this year, thanks in large part to Pinterest, we went for it. We used craft paper, suckers, felt for the leaves and some heart stickers. And the girls pretty much did most of it on their own. I have to say, I think they came out great.

But I think the best part was sitting around the kitchen table, just us girls, shooting the shit and making some Valentines. Now, that's what I call a Friday night!