It’s been awhile! We had to do the whole get through the end of school/get adjusted to a new summer routine thing, which makes life a lot busier! As much as I miss a more structured schedule, I LOVE having the boys home with me for the summer to just enjoy swimming, reading what we want, and later bedtimes! (Why, though, do my children insist on waking up at the exact same time as they would for school all summer long? It also never fails that as soon as it is time for school to resume, they will suddenly sleep past 7 a. m.)
We have certainly had plenty of highs and lows lately, so I thought I’d give a bit of a “Progress Report” on several things. My biggest problem recently has been my wallet getting stolen. I know it happens to a lot of people, but oh, how frustrating it is! I have had a bad habit of not carrying any type of purse since shortly after having Lindsay. I would just put my wallet into her stroller or diaper bag when I needed it, and sometimes I would just carry it in my hands while carrying her. (Genius, I know.) A few weeks ago, the boys had a dentist appointment right down the road to have sealants put on their teeth. I was told it would just take a few minutes, so I thought I would take Lindsay with us, too. She is usually pretty easy to manage, and it would be a short trip. For whatever reason she was not happy, so I spent all of our time there walking around the waiting room and looking out windows. I remember setting down my wallet in one of the chairs because it was too difficult to hold both her and the wallet. I honestly never thought about it again until I tried to go to the grocery store later that afternoon, and I realized I must have left it there. I wasn’t worried at all because I thought, “It’s a pediatric dentist office; someone will have turned it in.” WRONG!! “Someone” will go try and use both of your debit cards to make over a thousand dollars worth of purchases! Anyway, it’s been a lot of fun trying to recoup everything, filing a police report, talking numerous times to Amazon, both banks, figuring out what to do about Lindsay’s Social Security card so that no one tries to take over a two year-old’s identity, etc. Throw in a day of broken air conditioning and today’s adventure of one of the boys overflowing the commode while I was on the treadmill without bothering to mention it to me until I discovered a hallway and garage full of water, and I’m about DONE with the crazy. Seriously!
We have been juggling Lindsay’s therapy days with the boys getting to hang out with their grandparents some and come along with me some. I think it’s great for them to see what Lindsay does each week, and it allows them to know the world does not actually revolve around them! If we are “friends” on Facebook, you might have seen some really exciting progress that my sweet girl is making! She has been working hard on standing and has even stood while holding the boys’ hands quite a few times as well as on her own for a few seconds at a time if she knows something is behind her!! Praise God!! She has absolutely loved going to the pool, where she can just sit and splash as long as you will let her.
Speaking of progress, we are in the middle of transitioning into preschool in the fall for her. For those of you who may not know how this all works, we have been involved with Tennessee Early Intervention System for almost two years. After going through all of the initial hurdles to get in the program, they will evaluate and determine what services your child needs in order to help her succeed. They will then pay whatever your insurance does not as far as therapies, things such as braces for your child’s feet, and for a developmental teacher to come to your home once a week if needed. The day before your child turns three, she exits this program and must either continue with private therapies out of pocket, or begin attending a private or public preschool in order to receive what she needs. Since we are not millionaires, it looks like Lindsay will be attending a Metro preschool beginning the day after her third birthday, which is August 23.
In order for all of that to happen, at least three meetings take place to determine where she will go and what services she needs. The first meeting is mostly informational, where the Special Education Department explains the process and lets you know what all information they need in order to continue. The second meeting, which was yesterday, is what they call “Arena Day,” since she basically sits in the middle of a circle of people and “performs.” Of course I was so nervous about this day in particular, because I knew she would have a lot of strangers around her assessing her in every area. Even though I can see so much progress in her as well as those who are in contact with her day-to-day, these people have never met her and don’t know just how far she has come. That’s scary! I did not actually watch much of her assessment as I was answering question after question about what she is “not able” to do, what she “does sometimes when needed,” and what she “always does when needed.” I will admit, some of the questions were absurd even for a “typically” developing almost three year old! Some had me thinking, “Umm…my eight year olds don’t even do that!” Thanks to many of your prayers, we survived! Lindsay was in a great mood except for when they tried to get her to stand!
The third meeting will be Lindsay’s IEP meeting on August 12. (Go ahead and be praying for that if you don’t mind!) Just for those who are not in education, IEP stands for Individualized Education Plan. We will all meet again on this day and discuss the results of her assessment and then make a plan for the goals we want her to meet this year in preschool. A lot of times the parents and the school system might not see eye to eye on exactly what is best for the child, so that is what I am most concerned about in relation to this meeting. Metro’s preschool program is five days a week, all day long. I am not excited about that at all, as she is my last child! Of course I also worry about the fact that she cannot tell me what her day was like, or if she’s happy. When I’m with her, I KNOW! I know her life will be full of school, and I am not in a rush to send her every day. I imagine that will be one of the areas I may have to push back on and see if she could start out going three or four days at first.
I will confess that when I taught, I dreaded IEP meetings for a different reason. I would always get stressed about missing my “precious” planning time, as there was always so much to do in that hour!(Have I mentioned I am Type A?!) Also a lot of times in the schools where I taught, no parent would show up for the child in order to help make decisions. Now that I am on the “other side” of that table, I see things through a bit of a different lens. We are talking about MY child, and that makes a world of difference.
I have visited one preschool that I would love for Lindsay to be able to attend. Back in May when I went to observe, within five minutes I just knew I loved that teacher and that she would love my girl. She spoke some reassuring words to me, and I just cried right there in front of the classroom full of kiddos and her assistants. Sometimes, you just know.
So, we are trying to enjoy summer while preparing for all that is to come. As has been that case all along this journey with Lindsay, I learn new things every day. I’ve mentioned before that a lot of the things that used to be big deals just really aren’t in the big picture of life. I’m learning over and over again that when I put my hope in people, I will get disappointed time after time. I’ve learned that no two people experience things the exact same way. Even if you are in similar circumstances, each person experiences things differently. I’ve learned not to say, “I know exactly how you feel.” I don’t. The best thing we can do is just be there for others and really listen. Offer encouragement, but let people feel how they feel. There is only ONE who will never disappoint, who will always respond, who will always make me feel loved. I hope you know Him, too.
*I spent a lot of these past few weeks worrying over all that Lindsay can’t do. Then, I decided to make a list of what she can do! Thank you again for following along on this journey, for encouraging us, and most importantly, praying with us for this miracle girl!
-make me laugh and cry-sometimes at the same time
-brighten up any room she is in
-smile more than anyone I know
-talk…You might not understand her; but I can, and HE can
-sit and play for hours
-stand with assistance
-get across the room by scooting, rolling, or both
-play with her brothers
-laugh when things are funny to her
-put both feet in her mouth!
-bend her body completely in half (She might be a yoga instructor one day!)
-survive on crazy sleep schedules
-make anyone she meets fall in love with her
*That doesn’t begin to cover what our girl can do, but she is just getting started!
Until next time…
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9