Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Schooling woes for next year

I've spent hours and hours trying to pick a school for Laura. She will be going into kindergarten in the fall. The choosing process has been very frustrating and stressful.

Before I had Laura, I wanted to homeschool. Israel and I had it all figured out. He'd do math and science and I'd do everything else. Sounded perfect. But he died and Laura is a social strong willed child. I think homeschooling would limit her and possibly damage our relationship. I might be wrong, but my gut is telling me homeschooling isn't for Laura.

So now I'm left with what school do I choose? In our location, she would go to Barkley Elementary public school. Barkley doesn't have very high national test scores and my sister (a traveling OT) said it wasn't a great school. If we lived a few houses down, she would go to Schuykill Elementary which is a great school.

I asked head officials if she could go there anyway and they said no.

So now I'm down to two choices:

St. Basil's - Excellent Catholic School that costs $400 a month. Top quality and challenging.

Renaissance Academy - free charter school which is award winning and highly geared to college academics. But small classrooms and no homework

So undecided!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow day

When Laura was a baby, my heart sank when I thought I would be alone with her. I cherished all time I can with her but as a baby, she needed more physical care than I could do. When she was 2, I could do more and more for her all of the time.

Today it snowed which meant my hockey game was canceled. Jeff worked the 1-10 shift so I had Laura the majority of the day on my own. Saturday's are my one day a week where I don't have an attendant. I like my attendants very much but everyone needs a break.

Laura and I do just fine on our own if no transportation is needed or real cleaning needs done. Jeff sets us up with food / drink. He helps me get ready and we are set

In some ways it is much easier. When I have an attendant here, they always seem to want to help when I discipline Laura or have something to say. Its only human nature but can be annoying when I'm her mom and shouldn't have to explain why I do or don't do things a million times a day.

My attendants are great though all in all. I have to remind them once in awhile that I have control over things (which means give me some room) and they do. They mean well and both have been with us since Laura was a little over one and right before two.

Today we had fun. We played spy, coloured, talked, she played in snow as I watched, cleaned her room together, and watched a few shows. We take care of each other and she knows I'm the boss.

Laura told me she had a great day! That made me very happy. We even cleaned the house before bed.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Laura and her baby

I bought Laura her first baby doll when she was seven months old. It was a twin pack of the little mommy dolls. At that time, she mainly tried to eat their heads and throw them around.

I remember when I moved back from my sister's house after Israel died, the girl I hired to work overnight seemed to be worried Laura liked to gnaw on the dolls heads. I found it to be typical baby response to hard plastic.

As Laura grew, she named one baby, Rosie, and the other, Jessica. Rosie was named after the little sister from the show Cailou. Jessica was named after me. They both became a valuable asset to some serious playing time.

I can remember Laura laughing so hard that she could barely breathe due to the babies antics. She has played mommy, doctor, nurse, teacher, babysitter and more with those dolls. As a doctor, she uses toilet paper and tape to heal broken bones and wounds that the dolls acquire. She has been doing these things since she was two.

My dad often plays imaginary land with Rosie, Jessica and Laura. It's great to hear the detail situations and scenarios.

This past Wednesday, Rosie became a favorite again. Laura calls her her real baby. She gives me specific care instructions for when she goes to preschool. I find it adorable and brings back memories to my playing days.

I used to play with dolls exactly like Laura. I couldn't physically manipulate them as well as she can but I remember the feeling of maternal instincts and love I felt. I get a kick of watching Laura rock her doll side to side, holding the head and swaddling the doll.

Nothing can explain the feeling as a mother to see your daughter express natural maternal instincts. Even at 5, I can see, God willing, that she will be an excellent mommy one day!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lucky in love

Jeff and I have had a stressful time with renovations, Christmas, work and so on. I'm amazed and how happy we maintained our sanity. No, we aren't perfect, but we are doing well.

After Israel committed suicide, I was pretty jaded. I didn't think good things last. I didn't trust that things could have a happy ending or I would believe that when someone says they will love you forever, they mean it.

It took Jeff lots of time and work to show me he's not out to hurt me, make me miserable or leave. I still have a wall up and am not 100 percent trusting. However, I came a long way with his patient help.

I used to think that things always go bad. I hated to fly because I thought we would crash. I cringe at the thought of vacation because I thought something would go wrong.

I still have haunting feelings but am realizing life doesn't have to be hard.

Our relationship is based on love but also respect to work things out. We both choose someone that we generally like and have things in common. It pays off emotionally to pick the right partner and not settle.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas 2011

Christmas has come and gone. We had fun. Laura was beyond excited and had a great Christmas. In early December, she went with Jeff to the Phoenixville Christmas parade. I couldn't go because I went to the Christmas concert at the Christmas college.

Laura decorated the tree beautifully. She loves to decorate. I felt terrible because the day I began to decorate, I started when she was at school. Well the look on her face when she found out, you would've thought her best friend had died. So I quickly gave her something to do. We had to wait on the tree because of the renovation. I didn't dare do the tree without her nor would I want to.

Next December, I'll definitely wait for Laura to do all.

I started Christmas shopping before black Friday. I kept looking at deal news.com daily and picked up deals. My attendant would help me wrap as they came in. I, of course, brought Laura way too much.

Her reaction on Christmas morning was funny. First of all, she slept in until 8:45am! Last year it was after 9 and we had to physically wake her. She came out and Jeff and I were already waiting for her in the living room. She sat on the couch and asked, "why so much??" I laughed to hear her wonder why she a so much.

My father came over and watched her open her gifts. He was thrilled that he could experience it.

So Laura was given a fisher price pull dog when she was one. Probably about a year ago, she didn't play with it anymore and I donated it to charity. Well, every few months after that, she would tell me how much she missed the puppy. So I got one last minute for her on Amazon for $5.

When she opened it, her eyes filled with tears and she hugged it. She exclaimed, "I thought I'd never see you again!!" it was the most adorable sight to see ever.

My dad got Laura one of those Barbie jeeps. She loves it and looks cute driving it all over the backyard. Jeff's parents gave her all kinds of neat presents and beautiful clothes. My mom got her a mini trampoline for outside. And our siblings also got her wonderful gifts too.

When I asked Laura what was her favorite part about Christmas, she said that it was Jesus's birthday. I knew we were on the right track.