Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I sense a trend

Do I do this every year? Is it possible that I'm this dumb? Let's just keep a record, and we can check back next year at this time.

  • The very first day of school I heard of a different SLP who actually knows something about apraxia. This would be a welcome change from Easter Seals, so I immediately call to schedule something. And she wants a copy of the IEP and other stuff. Which is reasonable, of course, but means I have to put that together. Luckily (?) she can't see us until Sept 21st.
  • I haven't done any freelancing since I was pregnant with Nea (I remember specifically since that client wanted me to come meet him downtown for no good reason, and I thought to myself, "Well, won't this massive belly be a bit of a surprise for the yahoo."), but now I've finished one job and have another lined up.
  • It's the end of the fiscal year at my regular job, and what a quarter it's been! With the extreme meltdown in mental health of my team in India. What joy.
  • Plus I just qualified for a focus group thing, so that's nice. Except I'm supposed to cook three meals in a week with SECRET NEW THING and then report back. Sounds like work.
  • And I'm the head of the PTA Wellness Committee now, with my personal agenda of revamping the lunch vendor, if possible, and the start of a "walking school bus" program. Oh yeah, and it turns out that I'm supposed to have something in the monthly school newsletter, oh boy. As in, regularly.
  • Boo says she's "bored" at school. On Day Four of School she says this. Oof.
  • Luckily, Nea has two very very nice Girl Scout friends in her class this year. They bonded at the worst ever GS thing two weeks ago. Imagine the worst hot/humid/mosquito hell. Then add a trashy mom getting a vodka bottle passed through the fence so she can endure spending time with her daughter. And some other mind-bogglingly ridiculous parental antics. I mean, seriously. Please seek help if you can't go 24 hours without a drink, ok? There's help out there for you. Really.
  • Plus we have abandoned Saturday German school, so I'm homeschooling German this year! I'M INSANE. SOMEONE HELP ME.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Update on killer tomatoes

I normally don't use a chainsaw when harvesting my tomatoes, but it takes all kinds to make a world.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Veggie gardening in small spaces

La la la. Tum tee tum tee tum. Walking to the public pool. Hmm. What's this?

Hmm. Looks interesting.

Ooooh. They look like they are almost ripe! No need to start a raised bed or do that awkward mowing-around-the-plants thing.

To think some of you claim not to have enough space to grow your own food! I hope you see new possibilities opening up for you. Grow your tomatoes in an elevated garden, I say.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Next book

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard. I read part of this book while visiting our former book club member Kate last year. So really, Kate, I think your influence continues, despite your exile in Georgia.

And JM has missed three meetings in a row, so we should really just talk smack about her in the comments, don't you think?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Literacy. I'm a fan.

Nea will learn to read if it kills me. And it might. TBD. I said to N recently that I want her to love to read, and then I burst into tears. If there's one thing I want my kids to have it's a love of reading. Empathy? Whatever. Athletic ability? Like I care. A fulfilling happy existence? Well. That would be nice, but who's all fulfilled and happy if they aren't voracious readers? I mean, really. As if.

Anyway. My point is. Oh, right, my newest theory on how to get this kid to read. The problems are A) kids with apraxia generally have more trouble learning to read, since they can't sound out the words. B) I think she has dyslexia, based mostly on the fact that she works so hard but retains so little. Shapes and colors took forever to stick. Letters, too.

In case you don't have a kid who has been in kindergarten recently, the fairly new thing is "sight words." The words you should know essentially by rote repetition. Memorizing the shape of the letters forming the word.

So, let's just hammer home the 100 most commonly used words in the English language, yes? Yes! What a great idea! Before you read any further, take this little quiz. Can you name the top 100? It's fun! C'mon, take a break! Oh, right, you already were!

I haven't done the blow by blow to compare their answers to the Wikipedia entry. Feel free to do an analysis and report back. If you really need another reason to procrastinate something.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Profound apraxia at age 6

Nea turned 6 this summer. I've been putting off writing this post for quite awhile. Looks like the last update I gave on her speech disorder was in the spring.

Many times I have read "My apraxic child improved dramatically the year of kindergarten! Or at age 5!" It's a real trend. That's nice for those families, isn't it?

Things got really hairy for a few months. I struggled to understand her as her speech attempts became much longer and complicated. Some days I was exhausted by the time she went to bed. Those of you who have traveled to countries where you don't speak the language well know what that feels like.

But then a few things improved. One thing that helped more than you would think was that she started saying "A long time 'go". It doesn't seem like much, but CONTEXT is everything when you are trying to understand Nea. And knowing that we aren't talking about the here and now, or events of the day, helps so much.

I don't know. She has improved so much, but she has so far to go. If you ask her where she's going later today she says, "Eat-det Deah" (Easter Seals). Spongebob is Pon-Pon. If you heard her talk without seeing her you'd think she was maybe two years old. Talking on the phone with her is very difficult, as you can imagine.

Her handwriting is shaky. The pressure on the paper is very light. We spell things out and show her what letter to write and crawl through writing thank-you cards.

But then, the other day she told us that no boys were allowed in her room. And she does have a green belt in karate now. Maybe she'll be ok after all.