Friday, September 30, 2011

An update on the Girls

With as hectic things have been, I haven't had a chance to blog on all the goings on with the princesses of the family.

As I blogged about last year, I was really not impressed with Kaitlyn's school last year.  It had so many flaws that I could have individually over looked, but together was too much for me to handle.  It resulted in me having a meeting with the principal, going over my concerns and him assuring me that it will be better next year.  I understood that some of the problems were a result of the district closing the school Kaitlyn went to in Kindergarten and shoving all those kids, and some teachers, into random schools.  Chaos obviously ensued.  And while I believe the district failed to make the transition easy and did not give the principals the proper tools to ensure a successful year for everyone involved, I also believed the principal failed to take the simplest steps to make it easy and welcoming for the parents and students.

The school year started with Kaitlyn being assigned to the one class I did not want her in, and considering in the principal's meeting, he promised me he would not only not put Kaitlyn in that class (I constantly saw the teacher on his blackberry on facebook while his kids ran wild) but that he would put her in a class that challenged students on an individual level.  When I voiced my concern about the class he told me I should have gotten his promises in writing so they would mean something.  My jaw nearly hit the floor.  I explained she would not be in that class and she was changed to the teacher who was supposed to be the best at teaching to the students based on their skill level.

Within the first couple weeks, my stress level over the school increased and my anxiety over even taking her to school got so bad that I would feel guilty even taking her.  Then, I picked her up one day and she was starving.  I asked if she ate her lunch, she said no because C had spit in it. I asked if she had told a grown-up and she said she had.  The grown up told her "Well, he said he was sorry, what do you want me to do about it?"  I immediately called the school.  I was told that the would talk to the staff and return my call in the morning.  Late the next afternoon, I received a return call that everyone in the cafeteria said it didn't happen and Kaitlyn must have been confused.  I explained I would bring Kaitlyn down to point out the staff member and was told that was unnecessary, they'd all been talked to and it never happened.  Kaitlyn swears it did, to the point of tears as do the kids who sat around her.

That's when I started calling other schools.  Then, all of second grade began losing their recesses because of a few unruly kids.  About a month in, it was back to school night.  The straw that broke the camel's back.

In preschool, Kindergarten and 1st grade we got the same speech "This year will be difficult and challenging because so much is expected out of them next year and we want them to be prepared."  This years speech was "Third grade is so hard and challenging and so many kids struggle, that we want to have as much fun as possible this year."  I asked "wouldn't it make more sense to spend the year preparing them for next year so they don't struggle?"  And was met with a blank stare followed by the speech on using clorox wipes once a week on their desks.

After the classroom speech was done, many parents approach the teacher and do the "How is so and so doing in class" speech.  I already know how Kaitlyn is doing.  She has never, ever been in trouble at school.  Not so much as a "quiet down Kaitlyn" and I know she's far above grade level in every subject.  So, instead we had this conversation:

Me- Hi, we're Kaitlyn's parents, I had a question about the curriculum.
Ms. R- Ok
Me- I understand that many of the kids need review, but I'm concerned that 3 and 4 weeks into the year they are having the words "I", "am", "we" and so on as spelling words.  When do you anticipate the spelling words will be more challenging?
Mrs. R- Well, we're still doing review
Me- Ok.  How long do you think you'll do review?
Mrs. R- Well, we're still working on review
Me- Ok.  I understand that, when do you think you'll move onto more challenging topics?
Mrs. R- Well, we're only on our second story of the year.
Me- Ok.  I get that you're doing review.  How long do you anticipate doing review?
Mrs. R- Well, we're still working on review
Me (can feel my eye starting to twitch)- I totally get that you're doing review, Kaitlyn is bored out of her ever loving mind.  What is going to be done for the students that do not need more review.  What is your game plan?
Mrs. R- Well, you can do more work with her at home.
Me- We do.  We're challenging her like crazy at home, which just widens the gap between what she knows and what she's doing here.  Do you think you'll be done with review soon?
Mrs. R- We're still doing review.
Me- Ok, thanks.

I was so aggravated.  Here I was, sending my child to school there for 7 hours a day for her to have ridiculously easy work, finish it at then spending the rest of the time with her head on a desk.  Then, missing recesses and spending all that time with her head on the desk.  I can so do that here!!

So, began the "hardcore" search for a new school.  I literally went straight from there to Back to school night at the school her kindergarten principal had been transferred to.  But, they were full.  And so were the other 5 I called.  Finally, one of my favorites answered the phone.  I asked if they had openings.  She said she didn't think so.  I may have sounded desperate, but I was, as I nearly broke down and explained to her how badly my child needed out of the school and if I didn't find a new one, we would be homeschooling and I just didn't know what else to do.  She talked to the principal and Kaitlyn was able to start the following week.

Kaitlyn went back and forth between being upset and excited.  She was so sad to leave her friends, but so happy to not sit all day with her head on a desk.  The night before her first day, I took her to 8 different stores for her to find the perfect first day of school outfit.  We went together that morning, the amazing secretary gave us a tour, everyone was just so nice and friendly.  When I picked her up, she was almost sad that she had a great day because she knew that it meant she was probably not going to be seeing her old friends every day.

We've been there since the 8th and already she's thriving.  I was worried that she would be really far behind the class, but she caught up quick.  Her progress report was awesome, she's still above grade level for everything and producing quality work.  Her teacher utilizes two different online computer software programs for the students to be able to work at their skill level in both reading and math.  Kaitlyn LOVES that, so she has been using her laptop a ton.  Thanks Santa!  Plus, the school has so many activities, parent involvement stuff and communicates really well with the families.  And, they have a Watch D.O.G.S. program: Dads of Great Students to help get the male influences more involved with the school.  So, we love it.  Kaitlyn loves it and we're so relieved we made the switch!

Other than that, Kaitlyn is going back and forth between being our sweet little angel and some attitude-y monster from the depths of the sea.  She is an amazing big sister, loving girl scouts and just overall enjoying the last month or so of being 6!

Samantha has had some changes too.  She's cruising along with her toy and on the furniture.  She wants to be standing all the time really.  She is pulling up to stand constantly and getting better at standing on her own for a few additional seconds each day.

A couple weeks ago, we took her to the ENT for her tongue-tied tongue.  We were fortunate that it is the same doctor who performed Kaitlyn's tonsil surgery and I trust and like him.  He confirmed that it was pretty moderate and because of Kaitlyn enduring speech therapy, wanted to take care of it.  We opted to do it in the office then so we could have it done as soon as possible and avoid as much delay as possible.

It was so much different than with Kaitlyn.  This time, she was placed on a table and bundled up with what I can describe as a heavy swaddle blanket.  Then, the doctor waited for her to cry.  And she didn't.  And so he poked her.  And she didn't cry.  So, he started to numb under her tongue, thinking that then she would cry, life her tongue and he could have easy access.  Nope.  She would not cry.  She had no desire to cry whatsoever.

So, he had to go in and try to clip it.  She didn't let a cry out until he cut it.  And it was more of a "what do you think you are doing cry" than a pain cry.  I cuddled her and in just a few moments (after bleeding on me a bit) she stopped and was giggling.  I think her biggest complaint was nothing crunchy for a week.

A few days after that ordeal, she developed this persistent jerk of a diaper rash.  NOTHING would cure it.  Her doctor thinks she got yeast in her small intestines so her poop is literally giving her a rash just by touching her skin at all.  Nice.  We've been using probiotics and creams and disposable diapers (we don't want to ruin the cloth, and we needed to sanitize the cloth to make sure any yeast was out of it) and it's still there.  I suspect a sensitivity to tomatoes, so I've cut them out.  And that has helped.  But, in keeping this food diary, I've also noticed she spits up a ton more when she has yogurt or cheese.  I've cut those out and debating switching to a soy formula to see if that helps with spitting up and tummy aches over all.  Anyone had experience with soy opposed to milk?  If so, share why you switched please :)

And that's really it for now :)

1 comment:

One Crazy Mommy said...

Soy vs milk
My daughter self-weened at 7 months of age. I tried several different "milk" formulas and she was consistently throwing up. I then tried Nestle Goodstart Soy formula, poof, puking gone. Although, I feel it is just a sensitivity because she is able to eat other dairy products, I stick to soy milk and soy based yogurts (yo-baby is soy-based). She is a healthy 3 year old. Most drs will not recommend soy because it does not have all the vitamins in it they need (easy fix with vitamin supplements) but also because it doesn't have the "immunity" stuff in it. So make sure its a last resort. I am able to give my daughter cheese, regular milk in her cereal, and any food made with cows milk. She does fine as long as she does not drink a cup of cows milk.