Wow, almost a whole month since my last post! I'm sure you understand what that means...we've been busy. Though even as I type that out I can't tell you exactly what I've been doing...not that I haven't been doing anything, just that I don't have all that much to show for my efforts.
I think the main reason I haven't blogged recently is that I'm trying really hard not to be on the computer/laptop when the kiddos are awake, for more than the customary 'I don't want to take time away from my kids' reasons either (more on that in a moment). I wake up in the morning and think 'I really need to blog' and then bedtime rolls around for the kids and thoughts of staying up to blog go out the window.
Well, I'm here now and I'll try to make the most of it without writing a mini-book. Elsa is napping and Thaddeus is content on the floor so I better be fast because both of those things could change any minute. I'll just give you all a brief update on all the kids.
Lincoln - We're FINALLY getting into a groove with homeschooling. It isn't that he struggles with everything, it's that he is so easily distracted and cannot, I repeat, cannot be pushed into working faster. I think he has some perfectionistic tendencies that coupled with Asperger's make it hard for him to get his work done in a timely manner. However, I've learned that at night we have the best luck. Monday's, Tuesday's, & Thursday's we have school from 7-8pm. I put Samuel, Vinny & Elsa to bed early which gives me & Lincoln more one-on-one time to work, provided that Thaddeus is happy. Wednesday's Lincoln goes to the grandparents & does art projects & such & Friday's we just focus a lot on reading & have a lot of down time.
Tuesday we had our monthly meeting at Homelink and I got a lot of great ideas to help Lincoln as well as the encouragement I needed to just keep going at Lincoln's pace and not to stress about how far along he currently is. This was really stressing me out, wondering if Lincoln was learning enough and if I was too relaxed. Lincoln is learning, slowly but he's retaining so much and is such a happy child. We've seen such a reduction in the negative behaviors and he is able to be in large crowds easier without all the stress. Homeschooling is proving to be the right choice, it's just been hard.
Samuel - In short is nearly perfect. I know shocking that I could say that but it is true. He is by and large a parents dream come true for a son. He loves going to school, he's helpful and rarely needs to be disciplined. While he does tend to be a bit bossy at times it is easily overlooked by all the help he provides. I feel sad that I don't have lots to say about his life because he doesn't have any problems to overcome. If the President went to his school I think Samuel's teacher would put him on display. Even when I volunteer in his class I see how wonderful he is.
We did go to the dentist the other day and an x-ray showed us that Samuel as an extra tooth with will have to be removed in the next couple years, surgically. Of course with Samuel's heart condition we'll have to see his cardiologist before this happens and I'm sure there will be extra precautions. I suppose I should be grateful since it is Samuel & not Vinny as Samuel is okay with general anesthesia and Vinny isn't. Still, I was very frustrated when we found out because I feel we've gotten more than our fair share of medical issues.
Vinny Drew - What can I say about Vinny Drew? Only that he is like a kindred spirit to me. I've been working on memorizing scripture and I repeat it over and over again. Vinny never tires of this and in fact will tell me to 'say it again Momma! Say it again!' His laugh is contagious and he loves God so much! Still he is quite the rebel and gets into the most trouble. He does whine a lot and we're still having trouble with him getting enough sleep.
He is also extremely picky about food and there have been several nights that he has gone to bed hungry because he didn't eat his dinner. With five children, two with diet restrictions, I refuse to become a short order chef. I just got a new tip/idea to deal with this I just have to wait until my oven is working again to put it into practice (test it out). All in all he is doing quite well and I love him very much.
Elsbeth - So I've heard over and over again that girls are harder than boys. Not true. This isn't to say that girls are easy, but what I assumed to be true before having her I have discovered is true. Neither girls or boys are harder or easier...they are both difficult, it's just that the things we struggle with as parents of children are different and affect us differently. Elsa is emotional, having every emotion on the spectrum and a few she makes up as she goes too ;) I think that is what is hardest for me, the emotions. She's not just upset, she's distraught. She not just excited, she is ecstatic! However, she can be both distraught & ecstatic in about 20 minutes. Exhausting is a word that comes to mind.
Yet I think we're finally starting to understand her moods better and are coping more effectively. Also, her speech is getting better. After to talking with one of her therapists yesterday I'm thinking that she is learning speech through intonations. Basically what this means is that she babbles a lot, making lots of sounds but with pitch and tone she makes sentences that I understand, not because she said the words correctly (she usually doesn't say any actual words) but because of the context & her actions I know what she is saying. This is fabulous because there is a lot less screaming at our house. Well, a lot less Elsa screaming.
Thaddeus - Husband and I have concluded that he is a High Needs baby. Yes, all babies have high needs, but Thaddeus' needs are even greater than the average baby & he demands that those needs be met. He'd really like it if you met his need before he know he needs it. What this means is that I'm not getting a lot of sleep, oddly enough that isn't a high need for him. He is demanding, busy, needs lots of touch, particular & highly sensitive. He has clothes that he HATES and lets us know by screaming loudly...I'm sure you were wondering what that sound was ;) He's so loud I imagine the neighbors hear him.
So now we're faced with how to deal with this and I'm wondering what I'm going to do because I don't like the options I have right now. I suppose what I really need is to be glad he is just high maintenance and not really really sick, but still I'm frustrated. This is really the reason why I'm not on the computer much or why I don't have the energy to blog after he goes to sleep. I wish I were one of those people who didn't need that much sleep, but I am and so this lack of sleep is really getting to me.
Well, I think this is as much time as my kids will allow me to blog. I've already been interrupted too many times because a cat is in the yard. I can't tell you how much I loathe animals right now. All the kids are terrified of animals (Samuel is the only one who will tolerate their presence). We have a few neighbors whose pets love to come over, which irritates the heck out of me because I can't get my kids to play outside because they're afraid of the animals. UGH!
I would try to post pictures but, you'll just have to wait and pray that I can find time to upload, edit & then post them.