Thursday, January 23, 2014

Education Dilemma


So, I mentioned in my last post that the current dilemma is what to do regarding Jena’s education for next year and beyond.

You see, we had always planned on sending her to the local public school, and I had even called  talked to them prior to enrolling her in Kindergarten at her current school. Why did I call? Because she misses the cutoff for the school year by less than a week. But I wanted to make sure there wouldn’t be any issues.

At that time I was assured that if she completed an accredited Kindergarten program, there would be no issues enrolling her in first grade the following year.

So a couple of months ago, due to several things that were going on, I met with her current teachers, then called the public school again.

Uh, no. They want her to repeat Kindergarten next year. Strictly because of her age. I explained that she will have completed an accredited Kindergarten program, that her current teachers think she will be more than ready to proceed to first grade both academically & socially, and offered to bring her in for whatever testing / evaluations they feel are necessary.

No.

Basically they really, really, REALLY don’t like to move kids out of the neat & tidy little box associated with their age.

It was explained to me that even if she did test into first grade, and they evaluated her to be socially ready, and IF they decided to then permit her to enter into first grade, they still would only allow her to attend half-day, because kids her age aren’t ready for a full day of school. According to them. Even though she's been in a full-day preschool since she was 2 years old. Oh, and schools across the country have full-day kindergarten. But, whatever.

Oh, and they’d charge us a tuition (yes, to a public school) as well.

How she’s supposed to only attend half day first grade and still progress along with the other students I have no idea. Or how that’s not supposed to hurt her socially, as she leaves every day while her friends stay. Or why they’re charging tuition to a public school. Or why her completing a Kindergarten program, accredited, in the same state, isn’t good enough. I. Don’t. Know.

Momma not happy.

Especially since I had previously called and been assured there would be no problems. Apparently our definition of “issues” is different. Hmph.

So, we may be able to get her into public school, but in order to do so we will have to go before the school board and fight for it. And quite frankly, even if we succeed in getting her in, I’m not sure I want my child attending a school where the administration  seems to think that all children should fit into this tidy little box based solely on age. Or any other factor for that matter.

And did I mention the cost of after-school care?

If they permit her to attend full-time, it will eat up over 15% of my paycheck each month. Not bad. Pretty much expected.

If she only attends half-day, the after school programs in the area will cost us nearly 25% of my paycheck. Starting to hurt a little more.

But if the school charges us a tuition on top of that? We might as well send her to private school.

So… we looked into that. Basically there’s only one private school in the area who has a good academic reputation, doesn’t add too much onto my daily commute, and we might be able to afford.

Except… private school tuition + after school care = nearly 75% of my paycheck.

At which point… why am I working?

So… we’re looking into homeschooling.

Seriously.

Right now it seems like the best option, except for that minor losing-my-income thing. Because our last tax statement showed that I bring home over 40% of our net income, plus provide all the benefits & childcare. Not exactly chump change to lose.

Thus, the dilemma.

Currently we’ve pretty much ruled out private school because of the cost. So we’re actively looking into homeschool curriculums as well as area groups / co-ops for homeschoolers while at the same time moving forward with trying to get her into full-time first grade in the public school. We figure if we get her in we can always change our minds later if we see fit, but all decisions regarding enrollment have to be made by the end of the previous school year (so May-ish timing), so we’d better start now so we know if that’s even an option.

I'm pretty much adamant that she not be forced to repeat Kindergarten. Just knowing her as her parent, plus having her current teachers tell me that not only is she the most academically advanced of all the kindergartners, she's also one of the most mature students in the class, I honestly believe forcing her to repeat Kindergarten would be detrimental to her development both academically and socially. So that is pretty much our worst case, last choice, we can't figure out any other possible way option.

So that’s where we are right now with that. As always, thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Jena's Turn!


And now it’s Jena’s turn!

Jena is doing as awesome as ever.

She is happily halfway thru Kindergarten, and is doing very well. We are blessed that she is currently in a setting where the teachers strive to meet each kid at their ability.

While Jena started the year already reading at a 2nd grade level, her best friend started the year not even knowing the letters of the alphabet (long story). It’s interesting to see such a difference in two best friends, and how the teachers reacted to it and adjusted the lessons & homework so that each child could progress at their level.

Unfortunately she is currently at a preschool, and Kindergarten is the last level. She will graduate in May. The current dilemma is what to do about her schooling for next year (and beyond), but that could easily be another post in and of itself.

She is excited to be a big sister, and was really hoping for it to be a girl so she could have a little sister. She talks regularly about what it will be like having a little sister, and naming ways she can help. I know there will be an adjustment period for all of us, but I really think she will be a great big sister and am so excited to see her in that role.

Currently she loves all things Barbie, and this has for the most part taken over for her love of Disney Princesses.

She still likes her princesses, but the obsession is definitely Barbie now.

So that’s about it on my Jena for now. As always, thanks for checking in!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

All About the Hubs


This post is all about the hubs. I know my posting has been spotty lately, and I figured it was time for an update.

Jason is doing really well. The business he started last Spring has taken off even more than we expected, and we are looking forward to a very prosperous second year.

It’s a seasonal business (house washing, roof cleaning, etc.) and we only expected him to have jobs booked maybe thru October if we were lucky.

To our surprise he has been able to keep fairly steady work all the way thru December, and has already worked a couple of jobs in January!

Thanks mostly to the fickle weather around here we’ve had days warm enough for him to go out and work (it has to be 40 degrees or higher or his equipment will freeze up).

And also thanks in part to the two corporate contracts he was able to get. One is with a local credit union, and he cleans their walkways and teller drive-thrus quarterly. The other is with a local Chik-fil-A franchise. He cleans their walkways, entryway, and drive-thru twice monthly. Weather permitting, of course.

Jason has also been serving as an usher at our church for nearly a year now. He helps people find seats when it’s crowded (or even just if they’re new), passes the offering plate, and assists with anything else they need. Because our church is a little short on ushers right now, he ends up serving nearly every Sunday that he’s there.

It’s exciting to see him serve the Lord in this manner, and I’m very proud of him.

Most recently, the local water rescue team he’s a member of nominated & voted for him to be a liaison between the general membership and the officers. Honestly, I’m not really sure what this means exactly, other than he goes to an extra meeting every month, but he seems excited about it, so I’m trying to be too.

And of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention his role of Daddy. He’s been working hard to get our laundry room done, because we need to move things from our spare room into there, so we can convert the spare room into the nursery. I think he’s both excited & nervous to have another baby girl in the house, but I know he’s a great daddy to Jena and can’t wait to see him with his girls.

Anyway, that’s about the long & short of it for now.

As always, thanks for checking in!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Not Exactly Comforting


One early morning last week Chief woke me up at 3:15am needing to go out.

I rolled out of bed and reached for the light switch. As I did so, I felt a sharp pain in my lower abdomen. Then water running down my leg.

I froze.

Did my water just break? Maybe it was just pee. But I didn't feel like I needed to pee. It didn't feel like I  peed. It just came out. And the pain…

Crap.

All I could think was “I’m only 20 weeks. This cannot be good”

I let the dogs out. Let them back in. Went to the bathroom to see if I could tell anything. No clue.

After checking with Dr. Google I determined that at the very least I needed to call my doctor. But right about then Jena started calling for me.

It’s now roughly 4am. She had wet her bed. I got her changed into clean PJs and tucked into our bed. Then I went into the living room and called the after hours line for our OB practice.

The doctor who was on call confirmed that yes, I needed to get checked out. But she advised that I didn’t need to rush because if my water did break there’s really nothing they can do anyway (minimum age for survival outside of the womb is currently 24 weeks).

Not exactly comforting.

So I went back to bed and contemplated whether or not I needed to wake Jason up. Then he rolled over and looked at me. He was up. I told him what was going on, and started crying.

We decided to go, but we would take the time to get us & everything ready, call his mom to watch Jena, wake Jena up, etc.

And so we did. His mom never did answer the phone, so she got a surprise visit around 5:15am.

We arrived at the Emergency Room and they took us up to Labor & Delivery triage.

The first thing they did was find Peanut’s heartbeat. Even though I had felt her move on the ride to the hospital, it sure was a relief to actually hear that strong beating sound.

The hospital doctor was in the process of delivering another baby, so we had to wait just a bit for him to come in. Then they proceeded to do a “fern test” to see if they could detect any amniotic fluid in the birth canal.

Negative.

Whew.

So they called and spoke to my doctor, who recommended that I call the office right when it opens and come in for an ultrasound to check fluid levels, just to be safe.

And so we went home. Slept for about 2 hours. Called the doctor and made an appointment for that afternoon.

Ultrasound was good. Fluid levels were good, all measurements were good, yay.

So… basically… I probably peed my pants.

They don’t know why it happened the way it did, why I had a pain in my abdomen just before, etc. but I don’t really care.

I’ve never been so happy to lose control of my bladder, LOL.

Needless to say our day started out worrisome and emotional, but we ended on a good note. And that’s really all I could ask for.

As always, thanks for checking in!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Update on Peanut


As you can tell by my last post, we had our 18 week ultrasound, and it’s a girl.

Everything checked out well, all good news.

Her length is measuring right on schedule (as in, exactly by the gestational age based on our due date), but various all other measurements were anywhere from 1 – 3 weeks ahead. There’s still lots of growing to do, so we’ll just have to wait & see.

Right now she’s measuring to be a smaller baby than Jena was, but again, we have plenty of growing time left for that to change.

One measurement I remember was big was her abdomen. The tech said it could be a sign of gestational diabetes. Honestly, I’d be shocked if I had GD. My sugar trends low anyway, I haven’t noticed any issues with my sugar this pregnancy, and in fact since I got pregnant I’ve been craving sweets less, and therefore am eating less sugar than normal. So that would surprise me. But we’ll see. I’m expecting my obstetrician to order my screening any day now.

Jena is absolutely thrilled that she’s getting a little sister, and is already proving to be a great big sister. She wants everything to be perfect and “special” for the new baby. I can’t wait to see how she really interacts once Peanut gets here.

So that’s our brief update. As always, thanks for checking in!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

It's a...

GIRL !!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

So, whose fault is it anyway?


Alright, I need to say this. Seriously, it’s a need. As in, if I don’t put it out there, I’m going to explode.

Recently a married couple who are close to me had their marital struggles come to a head when the wife discovered that the husband has been having an affair. For at least a year.

It sucks. It’s a horrible situation. I feel for her. My heart breaks for her. I pray for both of them. While I’m angry at him, I also know that part of him is hurting too.

But that’s not really what this post is about. This is about the reactions I’m seeing around me.

You see, my circle is (mostly) closer to him. I may be the only one in my circle who had a closer relationship with her.

And the reactions of those around me to the situation are blowing my mind.

Why?

Because there has been far more criticism of how she is reacting to the news, than to the fact that he did it at all.

You see, she chose to inform the world via Facebook. Now, not the best idea, I agree. And I think she agrees as well, as she deleted her original post announcing his cheating heart.

She now occasionally posts things about wondering how someone who was supposed to love you could be so mean, how heartbroken she is, etc. but nothing directly about the cheating.

But all I hear is:

“Can you believe she posted that on Facebook?!?”

“She shouldn’t have spread the word like that. It’s not helping anything.”

“Isn’t she thinking about their kids at all? Can you imagine reading that on Facebook about your own father?”

And so on and so forth.

Here’s the thing. I agree… to a point. But it would be much easier for me to agree with them if they said one word about what he did.

Where are the exclamations of:

“Can you believe he did that to her?!?”

“He shouldn’t have been unfaithful like that. It does no good.”

“Wasn’t he thinking about their kids at all?!? Can you imagine being unfaithful to your children’s mother?!?”

What bothers me isn’t so much the criticism of her actions (Although, personally, I’m not in that position, and I’m also a firm believer in if it happened to you then it’s your story to tell. If she finds it helpful to put it out there, it’s her story), what bothers me is the lack of criticism of his actions.

How can you criticize her reaction to the news, but not be just slamming him for what he did to cause the news? He broke his marital vows. He cheated on his wife of 20 years. He snuck, and lied, and cheated.

How can you criticize her reaction without judging him for creating the news? After all, if he had never done it, she would have nothing to talk about.

Again, do I think plastering such information on social media is the best way to handle these situations? No. But then again I’m not in her position (and by the way, neither are any of the people making these critiques of her actions).

But it blows my mind how they can feel comfortable criticizing her, without judging him 100 times as harshly for his actions.

And it’s kinda pissing me off.

That's all for now. As always, thanks for checking in.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Kinda Sucks


Kind of a spinoff of my last post, although it wasn’t intended to be, this one is about the pain of breakups.

When the Ex & I broke up, as painful as it was, the pain that was totally unexpected was how it altered, and eventually (pretty much) ended the relationship I had with his family, and he with mine. It also altered our relationships with various friends.

It seems that most people (friends anyway) feel this need to pick sides. As if they can no longer be friends with both of us. So I became estranged from friends who chose him. And was pleasantly surprised when some friends I thought would choose to remain closer to the Ex, instead chose to stand by my side.

Honestly, guys, I would have been fine if you’d stayed friends with both of us, it would have been okay.

There are a few who managed that balance. But for the most part it seemed as if lines were drawn.

I think that’s something that most people don’t think about when a significant relationship is ending.

Two members of our family have recently gone thru / are going thru breakups of varying degrees. As painful as  I know the experience is for them, I’m also having a pity party for myself.

Because I’m losing two “in-laws” that I love dearly, whom I connect with, whom I don’t want to lose touch with.

But whom I also realize I probably will see less and less (if at all) as the years go by.

And I feel confident in saying that they feel the same way. They aren’t just losing their partner, they are also losing part of their family.

In one way, it’s beautiful how one relationship can branch out and flower into multiple close friendships & relationships. But when that relationship dies, it’s painful how the branches & flowers of extended relationships die with it.

Kinda sucks.

As always, thanks for checking in.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Putting it out there


Once upon a time I had a college sweetheart whom I was with for four years.

Once upon a time we broke up. Long story short, I’ve come to realize it’s because both of us were young & stupid. Mostly. And mostly me.

Once upon a time I loved Tom’s* family as my own. His mom & dad were like a second mom & dad to me. I loved his brother and sister-in-law, and their three kids. Family.

But then we broke up.

I kept in touch with his family for years after. In my mind, I saw no reason to end that relationship, just because my romantic relationship with him had ended.

I saw them several times a year. Usually in the Summer & Fall. And always at Christmas. We sent cards, exchanged cookies, had dinner. He never came, his parents always did. Sometimes my parents would join us.

And then we didn’t.

One Christmas I was moving out of my apartment, busting my butt to try to get everything packed & moved and the apartment cleaned all while navigating the normal holiday busy-ness. I was swamped, and so I politely declined the invitation.

As the next year approached, I didn’t see them during the Summer as usual. And I didn’t force it, or push the issue, even though I missed them terribly.

I chose to let my relationship with his family end, based on two reasons, both of which were directly tied to my new relationship with Jason:

1) I didn’t want to ever give Jason a reason to worry, or to think there was anything going on with my ex.

There wasn’t. Never was since the breakup. But I understand that me seeing his family regularly is a little… odd, and from experience I know that it’s easily misinterpreted. I wanted my new relationship to succeed, and wanted to stay away from any appearance of me not being over the past.

2) With Jason’s ex-wife still butting her head in the picture at that time (phone calls, texts, invitations to dinner, etc) I realized how I was probably making my ex’s then girlfriend (now wife) feel.

And it’s not a good feeling. That was never my intention, and I didn’t want her to feel the way I did when Jason’s XW came around.

And so I let my relationship with the family fall by the wayside.

But I still think about each of them regularly. Kay* & Frank*, my second mom & dad. Ed* & Cathy, their kids, Laurie, Kate*, & Carl*. I even think about Ed & Cathy’s dogs. Truth. I wonder how they all are doing, what they’re up to.

I wonder if they think of me.

I also carry a lot of guilt.

You see, Frank, someone who for so long was like a dad to me, passed away last year. Maybe you remember this post.

I wonder if he knows that I still loved him like family. That I still thought of him often, that I never really wanted to stop seeing everyone.

And so for the past year I have been carrying this guilt. I have contemplated contacting the rest of the family on numerous occasions, particularly Kay.

But… first I think I need to ask my husband’s permission, to avoid any issues. And how do you ask that question? Hey, you know my college sweetheart? I’d like to contact his mom.

And if he says okay, how do you start that conversation? Hey, I know we haven’t talked in seven years, but I really miss you? Awkward.

Oh, and because of other things that have been said in the past, I am 99% sure if I contacted the family this would totally piss off my ex’s wife. So there’s that to consider.

But at the same time, how do I not? Knowing, having seen firsthand, that we don’t have forever. Knowing that Frank died without me ever telling him how sorry I was that we lost touch. How can I not let the rest of them know what they mean to me?

So there’s really no point to this post. I’ve just been carrying around a lot of emotion surrounding this situation, especially for the past year. And I just wanted to get it out. Put it into the universe. So there it is.

As always, thanks for checking in.

**********
Names changed to protect the innocent. Or just the mentioned.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

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