Saturday, February 23, 2008

My little perfectionist

Well, my 5 year old William had his checkup this past week. Physically he is perfect. He is hardly ever sick. Developmentally...I guess something is just not right. I was told that he probably has some form of autism as well as sensory integration disorder!! Well, I knew something just wasn't right since he was about 2 when he did not have any language development but now that he is older the doctors can see that it may be more than that. The fact that he is deathly afraid of the bathtub, lines up his toys in matching pairs and by color and size, doesn't sleep more than 6 hours a day, can only have a conversation about television, books or legos, memorizes TV commercials, conversations and cartoon episodes, and all the other things I can not think of right now. I was hoping I would only have 1 special needs child to deal with. I am quickly increasing that number. He has his full developmental evaluation in June so I guess we will find out for sure then.

Up until now his odd behavior has been disruptive but manageable. His homeschooling has been going ok...he is highly verbal and memorizes spoken words with autographic perfection. Most of his schooling has been verbal up until now. He desperately wants to write words and do addition, which he does fine with the computer when he has to recognize things. This week we started on writing. He can write his name which took him a very long time to learn and he still writes it backwards. We started practicing how to write numbers and letters this week since he has been driving me crazy about doing math (he is obsessed with numbers...counts EVERYTHING! and he loves spanish...he is the only spanish speaking white kid on the playgrounds..=).

I do not think he is ready to write. I wrote the numbers out and had him practice. He could not do it PERFECT and it lead to a serious meltdown. I look over and he has paper strewn everywhere...he got a new sheet everytime he messed up one number and had worn down 2 erasers in a matter of minutes. I am now getting afraid of what the rest of his schooling may bring. If things are not perfect it is like the world has ended. Well...I will learn. I think alot of his education will have to focus on spoken instruction, but he will have to write at some point.

Slow and steady wins the race...isn't that what the turtle says...William like turtles...he is kind of like a turtle sometimes I guess (last one to get dressed, last one to finish eating, last one in the car, last one to get buckled), except when it comes to writing. I guess we will have to talk about turtles. I know God will help us find a way...just like he always has before.

Thank you God for giving me my extra-special son=)


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Signs of life!

It has been unseasonably warm here in southeastern Virginia...72 today, 81 tomorrow!! I have been longing for spring and today when passing by the local nursery I noticed some of their white dogwoods are in BLOOM!! I am so excited. I know we will have a dreadful cold spell before spring is really here, but I am giddy about the coming warmer weather...we can actually go outside and have picnics now and grill out again. Warm weather is so much more appreciated when you have several children who get stuck staying inside in the winter and driving their mother INSANE.

There is always a catch however...with the approaching spring I have to remind myself that a Virginia summer is right behind and it can get so HOT here in the summer. With summer comes relapses of my 'illness' that are brought on by heat. This...I do not get excited about.

Oh well, spring is on the way and that is ALWAYS a good thing (as Martha would say).

Monday, February 4, 2008


The last several days I have been doing some surfing on the internet, looking at some homeschooling material and researching some medical information, and I have come across several websites and blogs...mostly by homeschoolers, or people with large families, religious womens sites etc...about how to be a good wife, good homemaker, good homeschooler, good mother etc. Many of them talk about being thrifty and making healthy meals from scratch and buying food from local farmers, or putting together free materials in order to homeschool or how to keep your house spottless or keep up with the on how to stretch a penny and the best way to discipline...oh I could go on and on.

Sometimes I feel like I am the only christian person who lets my kids watch TV and eat fast food. Between making sure my children get the BEST education I can provide, making sure they each have clothes that not only fit them but are CLEAN, and making sure that they have activities that do not involve just me and their siblings or a church group (since I do believe that children should not grow up in a bubble of christianity) I can not keep up. Between soccer, baseball, cheerleading, church activities, homeschooling, taking care of 2 toddlers, dealing with doctors appointments, therapy appoinments and anything else that happens to come am I supposed to make my own bread, make 3 homeade meals a day that are portable, clip coupons, make my own cleaning products, loose weight, grow my own vegatables, scour the planet for vegetarian meal recipies, keep up with my email, raise chickens for eggs, make my own butter, wash my clothes by hand...OK so no-one has exactly told me I should make my own butter, but all the others are suggestions I have gotten or have seen made...

I just do not see how some people do what they do. Don't get me wrong...I do not think that kids should watch tv all day and eat at McDonald's every night, but sometimes TV and fast food do have a place. I do not think that technology should raise our kids and I think there are more important things than cheerleading practice.

What I am trying to say is I try to keep a balance. No my kids are probably not the healthiest kids in the world, nor are they the smartest or the most well versed in the Bible. I know for a fact there are many areas that need improvement but why do I feel like this is what christian-homeschoolers especially are pushing? Why is it important that we raise our children in a vacuum...I personally do not think it is healthy.

I think kids should have an understanding of life, the way it is lived. They should understand the in and to cook, clean, sew, do laundary, how to use money, etc. I also think the should be able to use a computer and operate a telephone. They should be able to change a tire and know when a car needs gas. I think other things are cool like gardening or taking care of animals, making crafts or scrapbooking...I can not possibly teach my children everything they need to know.

I also think kids should be taught the bible, should do devotions and know how to pray and sit through a church service (once they are old enough-4 I think is a good age to start). I think they should be taught biblical morality...whatever way it should be taught.

I think kids should learn how to eat healthy. I think parents should make an effort to feed children appropriately...making sure they get fruits and veggies and protein and milk. I think it is a shame that processed unhealthy food is cheaper and lasts longer than the real thing. We use alot of processed foods I gues like hot dogs and mac and cheese and frozen pizza and then I supplement with the fresh stuff. I think it is completely impractical to think that people should buy local only because it conserves energy or buy organic because it...welll I do not know what that supposedly does. It is too EXPENSIVE! I am not going to buy tofu or some weird protein source because cows and pigs are killed the way they are. There are a lot of people in the world to feed and the way they kill animals for our needs is necessary. I do not think we should terrify our children by telling them horrible stories about where their hamburger came from. I think if people decide to be vegans or pescaterians or whatever it is fine but I do not feel like others should be scrutinized because they choose to feed their children beef of let their kids eat frozen pizza. Most of us grew up on non-organic food and hamburgers and turned out fine. YES we should eat better, yes we should support local farmers, yes we should do a lot of things, but I can not do it all. I do not have the time, energy or money. Sometimes I need to stop by McDonalds and sometimes I need something quick to fix for dinner, does that make me a bad mom?

A word about TV...I love to watch the end of a long day I like to watch my favorite show, I confess. I do not like my kids to watch TV, but I allow them some TV time. The get about 2 hours a day...most days less...some days more. They basically only watch noggin-which has actually taught my 5 year old spanish. Because it is educatoinal and there are very few commercials I let them watch it. My oldest daughter gets to watch about 2 hours of Hanna Montana a week-she loves it. They do play Vsmile and Leapster a few hours a week-if that. The rest of the time they are drawing, playing outside or playing with each other, reading books, etc.

I do not think that I am a bad mom because of any of these things. I think I am doing the best with what God has given me. I think I am teaching my children the right values and how to use their brains and talents. I enjoy spending time with them...I do not want to spend that time making my house spotless or spending all day in the kitchen cooking meals from scratch and keep them in the house like a bunch of recluses because I am afraid I will have to stop at a fast food place.

Well I guess I am done ranting for the night. When all is said and done I think I am doing a pretty good job!