Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It's freezing this morning.  In fact it is a good 35 degrees BELOW freezing.  This is the first time I've had to have the girls wear their full on snow pants for driving to school IN THE CAR:
(she's always zesty)

It is so cold out that the snow was squeaky, if you know what I mean.  I'm contemplating shoveling, since it is pure powder and the easiest possible shoveling conditions... but... I'm afraid my heart might stop beating.  The girls sat around the table moaning about how cold they were at breakfast; I had to keep reminding them that it was FACTUALLY the same temperature inside as it always is.  ;)  

This weekend we drove back out to Philly to visit with my Nana.  She turned 100 on January, 9th. 
She is doing extremely well.  She is handling the death of my grandfather in a zen like manner.  She is not in denial, nor is she in mourning.  She is moving forward, quick to share a remembrance, often acknowledging his absence, but not in a sad or depressed way.  Maybe you need to be 100 in order to put everything in perspective so well, to really except the cycle of life.  She is very much determined to keep on living.  And is quite disgruntled that she can no longer dine with their male friends because it would seem improper.  I told her I thought 100 was beyond reproach... but she assured me that under the watchful eye of the retirement village gossip and politics no one was beyond reproach.

My grandmother received these kitchen shears as a wedding gift from her mother.  She has had them for 72 years and they've never been sharpened!  I figured there was no better endorsement than that!

They are Wiss brand 1KS kitchen shears.  They still make them!  They are about $25 now, and clearly worth the money.  They are still made from the finest quality cutlery steel and made in the USA.  

 We stopped in here again (twice).  Check it out next time you are rolling through Clearfield, PA!
 This will be more meaningful to our FB friends... but... suffice it to say this place has proven to be the most quotable travel center in the Universe. And while the bathrooms are very clean, the other occupants... well, they are prone to shout out loud, bizarre, disconcerting statements.  You kind of want to go there just to hear what is going to be said... and.... then again, you kind of don't.  It's exciting!

We got our new fridge right (and I mean minutes) before we left for our trip on Friday.  There were only 3 different models (seriously) that we could chose from that would fit in our built in cabinets.  It was a nightmare and our fridge is even smaller than our old one (!).  I can't wait to start having to wipe off fingerprints again...

How long do you think our old fridge will stay in the middle of the room?  Keep in mind it has all of our food still in it, and is still plugged in? (I'm thinking in terms of weeks).
On the upside, look at how efficient my work triangle is!  

As soon as we got home, guess who's tummy started hurting again?  She was fine the entire time we were away.  It is really sad and disconcerting, she is in tremendous pain and can't eat she feels so sick.

I'm trying to figure out if this is because of school work stress, or her friend leaving.  Her friend has her last day of school next Thursday.  (I've done everything I can think of on that front... we've got her email and mailing addresses, we ordered best friend necklaces, Mr F is going in to school to shoot a class photo we can give her friend to take home, we are bringing in cupcakes with little US and S.Korean flags on them on her last day, etc.)  I just don't think we can live through this level of upset very much longer, to be honest.  She has so much work to do, and she can't do it when she is this sick.  If she isn't better this afternoon, I'm going to take her to her pediatrician just to rule out a physical cause we might be overlooking (doubt it).  If there is no physical cause we are going to try and make it through next Thursday, then see if it gets better after her friend goes back to Korea.  If it doesn't, then we are going to take her out of school for a week and do her assignments from home, and see if that makes it better.  Then we'll know if it is something at school that is stressing her out, or the work itself.  I'd take her out now, but she doesn't want to miss her friend's last few days at school.  I don't know, people, it's hard to verbalize how badly she is doing all of a sudden.  She has had issues before (obviously) but they haven't manifested themselves in such a debilitating physical sickness before.  She really wants to stay in school (not just now but always... and she will cry when she feels like she can't handle it, for whatever reason because all she wants to is to just go to school like a *normal* kid)  So, we need to figure out how to make that doable, if we can.  If we can't figure out what is at the root of this (I really suspect it is the friend, and am hopeful she'll feel better once her friend has moved) we'll have to think about homeschooling again, and maybe trying school again in the Fall.  Maybe this school is just too much pressure.  Although we have gone through this more or less at every school and we have tried every type of school out there!  It is a complicated decision.  She will tell you that she knows she felt better homeschooling, but that she does like school and being at school and being around all the kids.  We have to figure out how we can manage it, and ultimately what is a healthy choice.  I know most people cannot wrap their minds around school being a toxic choice for their child... and most people are very uncomfortable with homeschooling... but if your kid was allergic to peanuts you wouldn't enroll them in a school that had no peanut allergy protocol.  If your child hated carseats... you'd still make them ride in one... because it is dangerous not to.  I live in a weird vortex, where the thing my child wants and likes is a normal part of life but it makes her sick and it is hard to say "You can't go to school because it is not healthy for you."and get anyone to understand.  It's hard. And I don't know what to do.  No ten year old should suffer this much, just to get through the day.  (Yes, we are open to medication... but, you all know, that is a bit of nerve-wrenching decision making process and she is going through puberty and it makes it harder to get doses right and makes me more concerned... plus eliminating the stressor by homeschooling also eliminated the need to medicate her (which kind of seems important to keep in mind)  we will be trying to find a new in-network psychiatrist, since we switched healthcare companies, to work with us, now.)  There is more to it, obviously, then I can get into.  She has self soothing compulsions she will develop and some of them are harmful to her body (picking skin off her finger, etc.)... nothing crazy right now but it does concern me and I don't want it to be something that escalates... AND she didn't do any of them when she homeschooled... but... she has always had some kind of physical soothing compulsion (I'll call it a tick) when she is in school.  Always.  I just think it is too much stress for her.  It's confounding because she does so well academically.

How is that for an uplifting last thought?!  Enjoy!  


wootini said...

Your Nana is awesome. I love her... and I'm cracking up at the retirement center rumor mill - I guess that aspect of life just doesn't ever go away, does it?

Poor Kid. I really hope things get better for her after she gets through this transition with her friend. I had a lot of issues with school (elementary years) myself, and I completely understand. I think it's one of those things that becomes easier in middle/high school when you have more choices and can be more self-directed. I did well at a very small (literally one class per grade) private school through 7th grade. In 6th we tried a move to the public MS, which had AMAZING resources but I just couldn't handle it (and it manifested physically, just like Kid). Even though I KNEW the school offered a lot of opportunities I didn't have at my private school, I was still so much better off going back. Maybe it would help her to think of it in less absolute terms - perhaps homeschooling is a better option and fit for her now, but that doesn't have to mean forever. Maybe when she is a little older, regular school would work better.

Whatever you decide, you guys are amazing advocates for your kids!! Kid is lucky to have you. :)


katieo said...

Adopt the Korean! Win-Win!

(kidding. Actually, knowing you, I bet you've already looked into it.. ha!)

But really. Poor debilitated Kid. No matter the cause, it's just all-around hard and stressful. :(

Mrs Furious said...

I was surprised by how seriously Nana was taking the gender appropriate pressure. Mr F and I can't tell if it is just her impression and a sign of her particular generation or if it is really like that. The cougar was nearly 20 years younger and she had no problem keeping up friendships with her male friends. Nana is worried it would be improper for her to mail a birthday card to a male friend now without also signing Grandad's name. Real or not, it is kind of disappointing because she had always made an effort to include widowed friends to dinner and now that she is widowed the same effort is not being made.

Interesting to hear about your school experience. That sounds so much like Ruby. I also had pretty bad school anxiety and would go to the nurses office almost everyday and ask that they call my mom to pick me up. I wish Ruby was like 95% of other kids and wanted to stay out of school! It would be so much easier! I had a very interesting talk with the school librarian (whose children also went there 10-20 years ago) and she was extremely validating re: Kid's teacher and said that if we stay next year will be much better. So that was encouraging. LIke you, Kid likes this school because it is so small and has only one class per grade as well.

you KNOW I've been telling Kid "well, maybe we'll adopt a Korean baby and can go out there and visit all your friends!" (We are so excited that the adoption credit is back in effect and permanent this time.... well, by "we" I mean "me". The longer all this goes on and the older he gets it is getting a bit harder for him to get on board with starting over baby-wise. The work adoption credit kicks in in September so I'll be making a push around then!)

#1 Had a insightful talk with the school librarian (see above comment) and think if we can stick it out ... or pull out and go back... next year will be a great year.

#2 We were waitlisted for a Charter school much closer to home. Kid got a spot at the end of August but she was too set on our plan of her current school to handle a last minute change. If they get in this coming Fall she has agreed to try it. We can always go back (at anytime) to this current school and in the meantime if they like it... less commute...less homework... and FREE. So fingers crossed on that one!

Julie said...

Hey, I'm here. I just have not had the time to read the post or anything. Well, because, you know how it is. I will read & respond when I can. And believe it or not, it may not be until the weekend.

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