Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Well, we're a few weeks into the school year which has somehow turned my routine upside-down, hence the lack of posts. Blogging is getting more and more difficult to fit into the routine, but I thought I'd squeeze in just a quick update. I just want to say that I'm totally amazed by people who have more than one kid. This one keeps us fully scheduled at all times!

I guess the biggest issue we've been facing lately is spending time to do some school work with Emma. Unfortunately, after a whole day of school, we have to spend so much time doing the job that the school isn't doing. I'm at my wits end in this area. We finally started making some good progress with her over the summer, but now that school is back in, we've seen a lot of regression in what she's learned. Somehow, I convinced myself that this year would be different. Now that Emma has a better grasp on the language, I thought people wouldn't be so afraid of her and would be more willing to help out. Again, I'm wrong. We're still waiting for psychological testing that the school promised us last year, which now seems to be "on hold." And we've been reassured time and time again that even after the testing, she will not get extra help because she has come such a long way in the past year. I'm not sure what planet these people live on, but I wouldn't exactly call a seven year old learning her colours and shapes huge progress. I'm thinking that the ability to read and count might come in handy down the road for Emma, but apparently the school thinks she will get by on her own. As the six year old kids sit down and read their words and do their addition and subtraction, my almost eight year old has absolutely no concept what letters and numbers are for. Sure, she might be able to identify some letters and numbers for you. But she has no idea that when you put these letters together, they make words. And numbers...don't even get me started. There is absolutely no concept of what value numbers have and what they are for. If this doesn't constitute a "special needs" kid, I don't know what does! I hate to be jumping to conclusions, and possibly needlessly "labelling" my kid. That certainly is not my intention. It's so hard to know what's normal and what's not given what she's been through in the past. I just don't understand how anyone could possibly think that Emma can thrive in a regular classroom. On top of it all, after all the work we've done with her over the summer to help her do basic counting and writing correctly, we see blatant mistakes and seriously sloppy work getting check marks and happy faces from her teacher. ARGH!!!!

I sincerely apologize for the rant. I think I probably picked a bad day to post. It's just been one of those weeks. With Emma, everything is so "two steps forward, and one step back." I think this week we're having a "one step back" week. :( If there is ANYONE out there with ANY ideas as to how we can get some extra help, I would greatly appreciate your input.

On a positive note, we are very happy with our decision this year to ditch the dance classes and enroll Emma in gymnastics. Gymnastics is just as difficult to grasp for Emma as the choreography in dance. But the big difference with gymnastics is that Emma isn't being left by the wayside. In fact, out of all the different people we've dealt with in the last year, Emma's coach is the FIRST person we've seen take some time to help her. She is very patient in showing Emma how to do things, and rather than just overlook mistakes, she will make Emma do things again until she gets it right. And it's not just Emma, she does it with all the kids. This is truly something incredible to witness, which is sad to say. There's not many people out there who care to go the extra mile.

Well, enough whining for today. Here's hoping next week won't be as frustrating...:)

PS..I am so completely amazed how many of you are still following this little ol' blog. It makes me feel guilty when I see how many people keep checking back when I'm not updating on a regular basis. And also people on the other side of the they ever came across this blog is beyond me! Please feel free to post comments if you'd like. I'd be interested to know how you got here and what keeps you coming back. It makes my posting feel worthwhile.:)

Friday, September 4, 2009

A New School Year

This is a picture of Emma on Wednesday, a few minutes before we left to her first day of school. Oh how this first day of grade one was SO much different than the last day of grade one! First of all, she knew what was going on this time. It's nice to be able to tell her that daddy will be there after school to pick her up and she actually, we're not dropping you off and leaving you there for good, like she might have thought last year.

Finding her classroom and meeting her teacher was so "normal." Teacher asked how she was doing, to which she replied, "good." She was able to find the desk with her name on it and then go find the locker with her name on it. She quickly placed all her belongings in the locker, gave me a hug and said, "I be miss you, mommy." With that, she quickly ran to her desk, blew me a kiss and with a big smile said, "bye mommy. Have a good day!"

I felt as though I should tell the teacher a little about Emma's background, not sure if anyone had given her the heads-up. But I was so enjoying this "normal" first day of school experience, I just waved and said good-bye!

Day two of school was a little harder for me. Last year, her classroom was right next to the door where you enter the school, so I literally walked her right to her classroom every morning. This year, she's WAY on the other end of the school and I'm not allowed to go in as I please. So when we reached the outside door yesterday I asked, "Are you sure you'll remember how to get to your new classroom?" And, of course, got a "yes mommy." As we stood there waiting for the bell to ring, a new little friend of Emma's ran up and gave her a hug. As I watched her little head disappear in to the masses of kids after the bell rang, I found myself fighting back tears. I stood at the door and watched until she walked all the way to the other end of the school and rounded the corner out of my sight. I just can't believe the difference a year made!

One little story (totally not related to school) I want to add before I go....When we first got Emma, she seemed to have absolutely no idea what money was for. We're not sure if she ever had any exposure to money before we got her. But whenever we were in a store, she would always want to carry what we picked up and would pitch a fit when we stopped at the cashier to pay for it. She always just thought it was immediately ours and we could walk out with it.

After living here for awhile, she caught on to the routine of getting our stuff, standing in line and then paying for it.

It caught us off guard the other day when we were in Walmart and Emma randomly picked up an item off the shelf. She held it up to Terry and said, "Daddy, how much bucks is this?" We had a good laugh over that one! :)

One last thing....the haircut. I'm still a little stunned over that one. Emma and I went for a haircut together before school started. We were sitting next to eachother getting our hair done by two different girls. I asked the stylist to cut Emma's hair shoulder length with some layer around her chin. Well, what you see in the picture is what we got. I had to pick my chin up off the floor when I looked over and saw how short Emma's hair was! Thankfully, the stuff grows fast! And she's so cute, it doesn't really matter anyway! :)