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Job, kids, LegoLand Race, etc.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I will make no predictions, claim any kind of victories, or make any excuses in this blog. I'm here. That's what counts. I'm long overdue for an update. I like these blogs of mine because they really captured my life and events for a long time. I don't keep any other journals, so this was my one place to document my activities. So here I am.

I'm giving myself 20 mins to do this today. I'll see how much I get down. I need to go shower before hitting a couple stores before I go volunteer in Beth's class.

I'm still unemployed, but at this point it's by choice. I was laid off on Sept 10th in round 19 of 5 years of continuous layoffs at my company. They've had an additional two rounds and a third is imminent. The names that are being laid off are stunning... amazing people who were the backbone of my company. It was round 4 when I saw people going who were amazing and accomplished workers. So making it to round 19 was pretty good.

I lived in fear for 5 years. It was awful. Since being laid off I'm soooo much happier. Being laid off was the best thing that could have happened, in a lot of ways. My round was the only round where we got 60 days notice. We had 80 people in my round so they had to give us the 60 days by law. That gave me time to get my mind and finances under control in advance. I feel badly for the folks who've been laid off since. The company is keeping the numbers under 50 now so that they can do 2 weeks notice.

Last year and at the beginning of this school year David was doing pretty badly in math and a couple other subjects. I was afraid he was going to be held back at the end of this year and would have to repeat 3rd grade. But now that I've been home I've been able to get to David's homework with him before 6 pm. He's got ADHD and by 6pm his meds had worn off and he'd have no ability to concentrate. He would get really angry when he didn't understand something and he'd be unable to even try. Homework time was torture for both of us.

Now we do his math homework at the park after school. He plays for 15-20 mins, then comes over to do his math, then gets to play again when he's done. Then we walk home. On top of that, I was doing multiplication and division drills with him while we walked to and from school. His movement (walking) helped a lot in keeping him focused and I was surprised when he didn't get angry about having to work on the times and division tables while we walked. David went from being in the bottom 25% of kids in his class on those tables to being in the top 15% in just a few months. Now he's just doing maintenance tests while the rest of his class continues to take their times and division tests. And with his solid understanding of multiplication and division he now has a better launching point for the rest of the math they're learning.

Last week I took the kids out of school for a few days and we went skiing. The teacher sent home his work for the days we'd be gone. It involved having me teach David how to do division with remainders. Due to our skiing schedule I was teaching this stuff to him in the evenings (you know... after his ADHD meds have worn off.) The fact that I was able to teach him brand new concepts in MATH after 6pm was amazing and would have been awful last year.

On top of that we've now realized (and had diagnosed - though not written in his records because it causes possible problems with some government careers later on) that he has Aspergers. It's now obvious, but it took us 2 years to really realize it and take him in. There's no additional medication or anything that we're doing, but it does help us understand some of his quirks and work with him better and with more patience.

So with all that I had recently decided that I was going to stop trying to find work. I decided that David's advances were too important.

But then a permanent position opened up with my unit (I wrote about it in my blog on Sept 10th. On that day I found out they weren't going to fill it. Well, they reversed themselves all of a sudden. I found out on a Tuesday it was open, I applied on a Thursday, it closed the following Tuesday.) I recently found out I'm their pick. Now the slow government hiring process starts. I'm happy it's slow. I'd really like to make it through the school year at home for the kids. But the problem is that there is a potential government civilian hiring freeze that could stop the whole thing in its tracks.

I've decided that David will probably be able to make it through 4th and 5th grades with me working due to the strong base he now has with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. I'm figuring that I can work for 3 years, save up a lot of my income, then quit in order to be home with the kids when David reaches Middle School. That's when a lot of Aspergers kids have the most trouble due to their social limitations. It would be hard for us if I truly don't go back to work at all.

Beth is doing amazingly. She's 6 and in first grade and she's been tested as reading at the 5th grade level. She has read books up to the 8th grade level (and passed comprehension quizzes on them - so she's not just reading... she's absorbing.) She has already read all of the word lists for first grade (about 750 words) and has been working on spelling them all now. She's already passed 550 of the 750 in spelling and is now on "Rocket Words" which is the last list. There are 9 lists of about 23 words each in "rocket words" Examples of the words she's spelling this week are: certain, connect, account, feather, disease... stuff that's not phonetic, regular, or obvious. She is leading all of the first graders in this feat. So she's really proud of herself. Unfortunately she has also stated that she doesn't have to work at math because she already knows she's the smartest kid in first grade! Huh! NO WAY LITTLE GIRL! That's not going to cut it. I knew it was probable I'd have to deal with that attitude out of her at some point, but I figured it would be closer to 7th grade or something... not at the age of 6!!!!

She's also not doing the greatest job listening to her teacher and doing what she's supposed to do in a timely fashion. The good news is that she's independent and isn't swayed by peer pressure. The bad news is that neither I nor the teacher are going to put up with that! like it or not, living in our society means following the rules and not inconveniencing other people.

Okay, well my time is up for today. I'm still waking the kids to and from school. And now I've added running home after I drop them off. My weight is still up because I've been eating badly. And the holidays at home killed me because I was out of my routine.

I'm on my third day of logging my food and exercise on SparkPeople. I know I have to continue to do that... it's the key to keeping my eating under control. I can't skip that or I won't make it back.

OH!!! And since I've already put it in the title... the LegoLand race was last weekend. I don't have David's time because he ran with some friends instead of with me or my husband and no one timed him. But Beth ran with me and Steve. She did the mile in 11:54! I was really proud of her. It was raining again this year, but that just means we had no lines for anything we did that day. It was great. I love that race. I love that my kids look forward to it due to the day at LegoLand. Hey, I'm not above using bribery for running...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    1902 days ago
    Hey, sounds like everyone in your family is doing a super job taking important steps forward!

    Great to hear from you!

    1903 days ago
    What a busy life you're living! It sounds like you're on top of what's going on with your kids and that's so important! I wish you continued success as you prepare for you new job!

    Keep on keeping on!
    1907 days ago
  • SHEILA1505
    Fingers crossed that the job works out
    Great to see you again and to catch up with all the kids' progress
    I've been tracking again this year and let's hope it keeps us both in line!

    1907 days ago
    It's obvious you're a fantastic mum and you're doing all you can to help your kids.

    Great blog!
    1907 days ago
    Wow your children are doing very well. My youngest daughter was 'gifted' and she would whiz through her school work and then help other students. Of course teacher didn't like that, but the kid was the next most literate person in the class (after the teacher). My daughter found the classes too long and boring but was given permission to read a book after she finished her work and that helped.

    Good news about the job and I hope you can juggle things so David gets your help.

    Is the prospective job the one with the long commute?
    1907 days ago
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