Friday, April 30, 2010

Great grandma Mary

Yesterday Great grandma Mary (Pete's grandmother) got sick. She was rushed to the ER. They thought she was having heart failure. Turned out it was pneumonia. We almost went to Springfield (where our families live at) last night to see her. Pete called the nurses and she was stable so he held off. Today around lunch she passed away.

Her birthday was roughly 2 weeks away. She would have been 95! yes, 95! Although it is sad she died I'm more happy for HER... she is in a much better place now. The last few years of her life weren't really living at all.

She has always been very active. She lived in New Jersey I believe all her life (but I could be wrong on that) up until around 7-8 years ago. I don't remember exactly when she came to Missouri. Pete's dad has taken extremely good care of her these last few years. Her mind was starting to slip... which is why my FIL brought her to where they live. They researched places for her live that would work for her. They chose an assisted living community. It was perfect for her. She slowly got worse and worse. Then one day something changed in her. More than likely a stroke. She could no longer stay where she was. She was moved to a nursing home. Even though my in laws researched all available options and picked the best, I don't ever wish living in a nursing home on anybody!

Great grandma Mary kept getting worse. They believe her health issues are due to mini strokes and not Alzheimers. But really I'm not sure you could tell the difference. She no longer understood what you asked (usually) and could not carry on a conversation. She did love the kids though. She generally perked up when she saw them. Max felt the same. He loved hanging out with her.

She had fallen a few weeks ago (around Easter) and broke her elbow. It took a day or so for the nursing staff to realize this. Although Pete saw her Easter morning and thought something might be wrong. She acted like she was in pain. Pete's parents got back from their 3 month winter stay down South later that afternoon and agreed, something was off. The kids and I had not seen her all Winter b/c the nursing home had a no kids allowed policy for the Winter months in fear of the flu/H1N1.

She a got cast or splint on her arm. But it wasn't doing it's job. The bones and muscles were separating instead of healing correctly. She had surgery last week to fix this. She did great and went back home that afternoon. She has been on pain meds since she broke it.

But yesterday she got sick and rushed back to the hospital. She died 11 days before her 95th birthday.

She was a lovely, sweet lady. She will always be remembered. Joe even made her some fancy artwork just a couple weeks ago. His idea even. Today we were shopping for Mother day cards (for my mom and Pete's mom). Joe picked out a card and said, "I think we should get this one for Grandma Mary." (BTW.. he did this at right about the time she dead). He's a sweetheart.

Mary Harootunian
May 11, 1915- April 30, 2010

Grandma Mary with Max, Sam and Ike

Her birthday... I think her 90th. Max, Ashley and Brianna hanging out with her.

Mary and Sam

Mary and Sam

Mary and Max. Max doing his thing... holding her finger and sucking his.

Mary and Max

Mary and Joe counting out marshmallows!

Mary and her son ( my FIL) Jack

Mary and Ike

Mary blowing out birthday candles

Sweet Carly

A week ago Carly's family was turned upside down.

She got sick very quickly and passed away last Friday. She was only 8 years old. I cannot imagine what her family is feeling right now. My heart breaks for her parents. They have 3 children. The other 2 are grown (19 and 22, I think). Carly was their baby.

Carly had 2 open heart surgeries as a little baby and had ALL (Leukemia) but beat that monster. She was a strong fighter.

Carly's mom, Joany, has a blog called ABandC'smom. Go read about how wonderful Carly was and leave a comment for her mom. I'm sure she loves reading them.

I will miss reading about what Little Carly is up too... like this precious smiley face she made not too long ago.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

TV show- parenthood

Does anyone else watch this?

It started right after the Olympics were over on NBC. I watched the first show and then we left for Padre shortly after. So by the time I got to watch it again I had 3 of them waiting on the DVR for me. I really like the show.
In the first episode the parents of Max found out he may have aspergers. Max is 8 years old. He is a very cute little kid. He has a long list of movies/shows he has been in.
They later find out that Max indeed does have aspergers. The show did pretty well I think in terms of showing how the parents felt after a diagnosis of something like that. At least for an hour long show!
Last night Max's cousin was diagnosis as being gifted. But before she was, the mom came to Max's mom for advice and wondering if her daughter could be autistic as well. The show even added in the feeling of Max's parents.... How they somewhat secretly wished their niece was autistic. I'm sure other parents of kids with special needs knows how this feels.

Of course the show has many other things going on that are good too.

During the 2nd or 3rd show, Max's mom was talking about somebody and called her a name. I couldn't tell if she said tart or tard. Surely they would not call something THAT on a show like this. So I stuck on closed captioning and in fact it was tart. whew!

But in my opinion, it is a good show and worth watching. And I'm sure it helps that there is a boy named MAX on there who is 8 years old with a special need!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sam struggles

Sam's birthday is 3 days before the cut off of being in her grade. As in if she was born 4 days later she couldn't have started Kindergarten when she did. She would have had to waited until the next year. She was the youngest child in her K class. I'm also guessing she is the youngest in 1st grade this year as well. She has always seemed to struggle in school. Last year in Kindergarten her teacher really wanted her to be reading much better. She said we really needed to practice reading a lot over the summer.

First grade... Same thing, her teacher wants her to be reading much better. She had an aid in K that pulled her out and worked on reading and sight words (she wasn't the only one BTW). This year she also had an aid until Christmas. Which I just found out last week. But Sam seemed to be improving so the aid stopped working with her.

When homework comes home it takes Sam forever to do it. We can work on a problem or two then the next problem Sam will act clueless on how to do it, even though it is the same thing as the previous ones. I don't understand it and it can drive a person crazy. Sam also fidgets constantly when reading or trying to do homework. She still writes numbers backwards (3 and 7 and sometimes 2). She still gets b and d mixed up. She writes some letters backwards, especially j. She usually forgets to start sentences with a capitol letter and the punctuation at the end. On spelling tests she will get a word correct then turn the page over to write out sentence dictations and spell the same word wrong. How? How does she do this? I don't understand it. Her writing is awful! It's huge, the spacing is not where it needs to be and is spaced out where it shouldn't be. Her spelling stinks. I can barely read her stuff and a lot of stuff I can't read at all. I see kids in her class that have wrote something and their writing is nice. Sam struggles.

A few months ago Sam completely bombed a spelling test. Pete decided he was going to take over studying spelling words with her. Prior to this he did NO homework with her or with Max. He is the one who always talks about how school sucks and is for suckers/losers, blah, blah, blah. He always talked about how they didn't need to do any homework. It drives me crazy. He should not be saying that in front of the kids who have many years of school ahead of them. They can figure it out by themselves! He also always asks, "what have they learned in school? They have not learned anything. Tell me one thing they have learned." That also drives me crazy. OK, off my soap box and back to spelling test.... She has improved on her spelling test overall. But she works for hours on them. Pete gives her a test and if she misses more than 2 (she usually does) then she has to write all 12 words 10 times each. If they are too sloppy, she has to do them again. Then sometimes she gets a 2nd test and same thing. write them all 10 times a piece ...again. This is usually around 2 hours every night. This is on top of her reading work, her math facts stuff, and the weekly math homework. She usually does homework for 3-4 hours every school night. She still struggles.

Last week her teacher emailed me wanting to know if me and Pete would meet with her to talk about Sam's overall progress and the 2nd grade. We figured she would recommend Sam repeat the 1st grade. We met yesterday after school. We were pretty much right. She doesn't feel Sam is ready for 2nd grade (neither do I really). I have mixed felling about it. I think it would be good for her but at the same time, her friends will be moving on and she would have to be in school one more year. Pete is pretty much against her repeating 1st grade. He thinks we can work with her more and get her caught up. Maybe he's right but how many hours of the day is she going to be studying. She is still a kid after all. The teacher set up a meeting for us to meet with the sp.ed teacher (kinda like a Pre-IEP meeting, I think). It is to discuss options and what the plan is. (BTW it is with the whole sp ed team-- all the people that work with Max). That meeting is May 13. That is only a few days before school is out for the year. So whatever happens will happen next year. We also asked to get her an IQ test. We just aren't too sure that maybe she doesn't have a learning disability. Maybe the IQ test will show us something.

I asked her teacher if she saw any ADHD in Sam. She said she didn't but the reading teacher does comment on Sam's fidgeting and forgetfulness/attention. At the meeting the teacher said to her it sounded more like ADD instead of ADHD. I looked up ADHD last week and I don't think she would qualify for that diagnosis. But I'm not sure.

We left it right now for us to try and catch her up then have the teacher test her before school starts next year to see if she is ready for 2nd grade. I have a feeling Pete will drive me crazy during this process. 'Cause you know, anything that doesn't happen is always the mom's fault (or what happens in different situations) ...You know what I mean!

Within the last week Sam has thrown 2 HUGE fits out in public with me. Once at the park and then at JcPenny getting her pictures taken. What is up with her? She is 6 1/2 years old.

Monday, April 19, 2010

dandelion wishes

This morning Joe, Ike and myself went on a little walk. The dandelions are starting to bloom out into the fuzzies. My kids love these. Our walk was a little slow going at times... but then again walking with a 2 and a 4 year old, that is expected!

Joe likes to make wishes then blow the dandelion. His first wish was ...
"I wish I was a bird so I could fly way up in the sky."
2nd wish.... "I wish my hair was like...... a werewolf!" My thoughts, it almost is Joe! But I didn't say anything.
3rd wish.... "I wish mommy picked us up every time we wanted up." Awe- too bad they want up every second of the day...and at the same time!

Too bad I don't have pictures of Joe with a dandelion to post.... I'll have to get some and post them later.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I saved $400!

I have the Neptune washer and dryer. We got them around 8-9 years ago. It's the front loader and I really do like them. I cram anything in there I want/need to. Plus with the front loaders they tend to get the clothes almost dry at the end of the wash cycle. Well not dry dry but much more dry than a regular washer.

A few months ago my door would not unlock by itself when it was done washing. I would have to manually push the off button then wait for a few minutes for it to unlock. Irritating but still usable. However, I could not just stick a load in the washer and go run errands. I called around and service calls were roughly $100 (it varied from $60-$120). Then parts on top of that. I figured if it still worked I wasn't going to pay that much for a service call... unless after awhile it drove me crazy. I'm cheap like that.

Last weekend the Door Locked light was on when the load was done. I pushed the off button but it did nothing. I had to unplug it and wait for it to cool down for the door to become unlocked. Maybe it's time to call a service guy now. Next load the door was unlocked when the load finished. I was somewhat excited, thinking maybe it fixed itself. That is until I started taking out the clothes. They were soaking wet. The washer never went into spin mode. I turned it to "spin" and start it up. A few minutes later the clothes were still soaked. Oh well, I stuck them in the dryer. The dryer has a sensor to see if the clothes are dry. I'm sure it ran for a long while drying those clothes. I thought maybe it was a fluke so I tried another load. In fact I did 2 more. Same thing. It never spun the clothes dry.

I did some research online and called around to service places again. I know there is a 'repair kit' that is sold online for my washer. Not from Maytag of course. But you have to be able to solder to fix it. I can't. I figured I would look around for a new/used control board. The part that needs to be fixed is on the control board. There is one common place this board fries. Mine was burnt. It is caused by a faulty wax motor. Service people want $325 for a new control board and $40 for the wax motor plus $70 or so for the service call and $50 to take apart the washer. Um, I don't think so. I was thinking about ordering the repair kit for $35 and then finding someone that could solder. But what if I couldn't? I looked on Ebay for control boards. They were $70 on up to around $200. Still cheaper than a local service place. I found one for $85 with the wax motor and $10 shipping. Score!

I got it today in the mail. I put the parts in and put my washer back together. Fingers crossed and I started a load. Guess what? It works great again! Forget those expensive service guys!!

Pete was impressed and said he didn't think he would have tried it. It's the cheap-skate in me.