Tuesday, September 07, 2010

New Beginnings...

Well, the first week of school went off without incident.  We're trying something new this year to cut down on some of the stress and anxiety surrounding school.  We've given up our slots at the aftercare program, and we have local teen watching Zach and Sophie after school.  So far, so good.  Kathleen is so good with both kids and they really like being with her.  This little bit of serenity is just what we've needed after a quick but full summer.

In early July we were lucky enough to spend 15 days traveling to and around Morocco visiting family and friends.  It was a lovely trip and much too short.  The kids had the opportunity to connect with cousins they hadn't met before and we had time to reconnect with Mike's parents, siblings and their families.  It was a hot couple of weeks, but really fun.  We even got to ride camels!  Now, if you ask the kids what they did in Morocco they tell you they went to the pool.  We did so much more, but in the heat that was obviously the most memorable - and refreshing memory.

We came back to trouble, but nothing we can't handle.  Mike was laid off three days after returning.  Luckily he's always kept his lucrative bartending hobby, so now he works five night a week at the restaurant and has the mornings free to pursue whatever he wants to do when he grows up.  As we know all too well, life could be much worse so we count our blessings and make the best of the situation.

Sophie started Kindergarten again last week and seems to be adjusting well.  It was a shock at the end of the last school year to find that she was not recommended to move forward to first grade.  We've since consulted specialists and it seems that Sophie has some learning disabilities including dyslexia - that would explain why she completed a full year of kindergarten and didn't learn to read!  We'll be starting a new program, hopefully this week, to get our little princess back on track and remove the anxiety and frustration of not being able to read and open the path for her to thrive in school.  For now this is the worst of our problems - she's doing so well medically it's hard sometimes to remember how far she's come and how wonderful she's doing.

Our dashing fourth grader Zach is also doing quite well.  He is enjoying the increased responsibility of the fourth grade curriculum and so far has been hassle free for homework and other assignments.  We took him to a developmental psychologist early int eh summer and will begin a regimen of physical and occupational therapies - as soon as we get organized (ha!) to help his with some of his own issues.  Apparently he has some gross motor problems that we need to work on to help with his handwriting, and as always we're looking for the holy grail to help us manage the ADHD. (At the recommendation of specialists from the reading center, we will also have Sophie evaluated for ADHD pave the smoothest road possible for her as well.)

I hope to get some pictures posted soon, you won't believe how bug both kids are now.  Truly amazing! Zach is almost to my shoulder and he's only 9!  Sophie will turn 6 in a few weeks and we'll have a bash at Chuck.E.Cheese - not our favorite, but Sophie's pick, so we'll play along.

We hope you and your families had a wonderful summer and that you are happy and well.  Until next time... peace!