Wednesday, January 05, 2011

What is up with you?

Wow, a new record - six months since I last updated the old blog. So how you doing?

Jeff came home from his deployment and we lived happily ever after. That pretty much sums up the last six months. I have been enjoying life, each and every day, every nuance. Pretty boring stuff to write about. My husband came home from work today and I was so thrilled to see him I smiled from head to toe. I am sure no one wants to read that. Now that we have gotten used to one another again I suppose I can write. I miss blogging.

I have been toying with the idea of going back to school once again. Same story new year. We have gotten on good financial footing so now seems like a good time. However, Jeff retires in less than two years and we are trying to save up a little bit of a cushion for that change of life. To be honest the thought of going back to school and doing all that work scares me. I have always wanted to be a teacher. I think I would be a really great math teacher, but... I make nearly as much money as a teacher does now, working one or two hours a day without any further education required. I really enjoy my life. Would I enjoy it more if I were a teacher? I really don't think I would enjoy spending all that money and taking all that time to get a degree. My head spins and I have a different decision every day. Which drives Jeff nuts.

Amanda is starting her second semester of her sophomore year of college tomorrow. Which means that her time at a community college is coming to an end. She has decided to go to the University of Southern Mississippi next year. That school is a couple of hours away and she has some friends there. She feels good about that decision. Weird how I couldn't wait to get away at her age and her main concern is staying close. Must be all that moving I forced on her during her youth.

Amanda has a cute little 2000 VW Bug. It breaks down all the time. She has spent thousands on repairs over the last couple of years. I helped her with the cost of repairs once but since then she takes care of it herself. She also takes care of most of the cost of going to school, car insurance, cell phone cost, gas money, eye glasses, and other personal expenses, etc. When we offer to pay she says she has it. I find this to be a really good sign, she is taking pride in caring for herself. Even though she is reluctant to leave home she is asserting her independence. I am very proud of her. I hope she will find a career and life that brings her joy. I had such a hard time in my 20s. Mandy will be twenty next month. Crossing my fingers.

Lily is Lily. She is so full of joy and life it takes my breath away. In Kindergarten and 1st grade we had a lot of trouble figuring out how to take tests. I would spend at least two hours every night with her going over her homework, school work, making up practice tests, etc. Everyone thought I was crazy. The school diagnosed her as having a receptive language delay but said that she did well enough on tests that she wasn't eligible for any help. Therefore, I ended up being her help. I think in the end that was the best possible scenario. She doesn't know that she is the only kid who spent two hours a night doing homework, she doesn't carry with her the stigma of needing special help. This year, though no special help is needed. She is reading at her grade level and testing at her grade level. I think she is far beyond her grade level and her test taking skills are holding her back but she is happy, school is easy and she does all her own homework without any help from me in less than 15 minutes.

Lily and I have been supplementing her school education with fun things at home. Now that she is able to keep up with what is going on at school without my help I am challenging her in other ways. We have taken up chess. She loves games, and her latest favorite is chess. We are also reading the Harry Potter series together. When Mandy and I went to see the latest movie Lily felt left out. I thought if I read to her the first book she would be so bored that would be the end of it for a few years, but she loved it so I am re-reading the entire series with Lily. She begs me to read to her all the time and even picks it up and reads it herself when I am unable to comply in a timely manner. For a girl with a receptive language delay she sure is able to hear Harry Potter all right. In fact I no longer think that she has any problem hearing and comprehending what people are saying to her. Now I feel that the problem is anxiety and I feel that has always been the problem. I don't think that she has difficulty processing language but that she is choosing to think about her worries instead of thinking about what someone is saying to her. So that is the path we are on lately.

When I started reading Harry Potter to Lily we read on of Mandy's old books. This drove Amanda crazy because she loves her book like most people love their children and the thought of me and Lily touching it was very difficult for her. I later saw in Lily's scholastic book order form from school a sale where I could get the entire series for $40. I jumped on that and now Lily has her own set of Harry Potter books. Well the books came while we were on chapter 5 of the first book. Lily insisted that we start the new book from page one and not at chapter 5. We went back and forth for awhile and I told her basically that I am not re-reading over 100 pages. If she wants to read them again that if fine, I will listen while she reads. So Lily read aloud to me 5 chapters of the first Harry Potter. She followed me around and read to me while I worked, while I cooked, etc. About half way through chapter 4 she relented and asked me to pick it up where we had left off reading Mandy's copy. I figure if Lily wants to be obsessive compulsive that is fine, but me, I am not obsessive compulsive so I am not doing extra work to make her feel better. I don't make fun of her of try to make her change, unless it is harmful. But, I let her coerce me into doing extra stuff for her compulsions. Now all my friends are convinced Lily needs therapy. I say maybe in the future but for now I think we are doing well.

I have been volunteering less this year than I did last year. Last year I overdid it a bit. This year many of my 'friends' are upset at me for not doing what I did last year. It got pretty heated. I got pretty offended. But, I have moved on. I joined the YMCA back in March and slowly but surely I am getting more and more fit and more and more regular with my working out. Hoping to improve even more this year. Jeff and I are currently involved in a bet. Who can give up sugar for the longest today is day one. The winner gets the loser's spending money for the entire month. We also decided to go on a money diet this year with a spending money allowance. No money, no sugar, whatever will I do? Go to the gym I guess. And off to the gym I go. Later Lily and I are getting flu shots.

So what is up with you?


luckyzmom said...

Thanx 4 the update. Great to hear all is well with everyone. Happy New Year!

Kimberly said...

I enjoyed reading this. I miss blogging too. I keep telling myself I am going to get back to it. Maybe one day, maybe never. We will see.
I do not think that Lily is behind in reading, not if she is able to read Harry Potter and understand it!
How is the bet going? I am sure it is hard. I need to get my self in gear too. I love how you guys stay on a budget. I have wanted to do that with Bob and he always says yes to the idea, but I want him to help me make the budget. He just lets me do all the money issues...drives me crazy sometimes, other times I am glad I am the one in control of it! Oh well.
Good to hear all is well. Mandy is doing so well and has her act together. I don't think you will have to worry about her too much!
Have a good one!