Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Festivus Miracle!

Yesterday, I was planning on being productive and getting things back in order following our fabulous trip to Orlando with my parents, my brother, and his wife. Instead, we decided to drive up to Sarasota to the Parkway 8 and watch cheap movies.

The first thing we did when we hit Sarasota was stop at Chick Fil A for lunch. It was unbelievably crowded for 2 pm, but the staff was quick and courteous as usual. We sat at two tables next to each other, with Mom, Dad, my brother and his wife at one, and Hubby, Daughter and I at the other. Our older son was alseep, and Mom was holding him, while Hubby and I traded the baby back and forth as we ate. Luckily for me, both those delicious nuggets and the waffle fries are easy to eat with one hand.

After lunch, we stopped by Barnes & Noble, since we had a couple hours to kill before our movie started. Here is where my Festivus miracle happened. I had just spent five days carrying around the baby in his Moby wrap while Hubby carried a backpack with everything else. Yesterday was my first day carrying a purse again, and I somehow managed to leave the bookstore without my purse. You would think a giant, bright green bag that doubles as a diaper bag would be hard to miss, but apparently not. We didn't get very far before I realized I'd left my purse next to the train table, so I quickly called B&N to see if it was still there. Luckily, it was, and all my cards, etc. were still inside.

After this minor crisis, we headed to the theater to catch Where the Wild Things Are. I liked the movie, but it really didn't hold the interest of the three-year-old, who had been hoping to see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. He was able to sit mostly quietly through the movie however, except for when he needed a potty break. This was actually the best he's ever done at a movie while awake, due mostly to the fact that we are still threatening him with the "naughty list" when he acts up. He doesn't know how long we have til next Christmas, and what he doesn't know won't hurt him, right?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Table for Seven at Olde World

Okay, so I'm a little behind. My in-laws were in town this weekend to meet our newest addition, so I wasn't online much. It was actually Thursday night that we went to Olde World Restaurant here in North Port. We had suggested three local, non-chain places to go, and this is the one the in-laws picked.

We had a table that consisted of three doubles, with our daughter on the end, since she's the thinnest. The baby sat in his car seat on a chair. Our daughter had an order of potato skins for her meal, and also ordered a mango smoothie. Our older son ordered spaghetti and Sprite, but also stole some of his sister's smoothie. Both kids did pretty well with their meals. Mom-in-law had a steak sandwich, and Dad-in-law had a fish sandwich.

Hubby and I split an order of steak fajitas for two, which were delicious. The meat was very well seasoned and cooked with onions and beautiful green and red peppers. The other sides included cheese, pico de gallo, lettuce, and sour cream. To be honest, I'm not a veggie person, and my fajitas had just meat, lettuce, cheese, and sour cream. I would have liked some black beans, but everything was good, so I wasn't complaining.

I got through two fajitas before the baby woke up hungry. We weren't well situated for nursing, since our table was right next to the entrance, so I headed out to the van. This is when I discovered that we had parked right in front of the outside smoking area for the lounge. I was a little creeped out by the men walking around several feet away from me. We'll remember this for next time and park over in the second row. I was just finishing up with the baby when the rest of the family came out with to-go containers, so that was pretty much it for that meal, as far as I was concerned. Everyone said they enjoyed their meal, and overall it was a good experience at one of our local favorites.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Table for Seven at Chick Fil A

Okay, so technically there is no table for seven at Chick Fil A. Wednesday night, there was a fundraiser for my dad's school at Chick Fil A in Port Charlotte, so we were there. We ended up sitting in two booths next to each other. The two older kids of course decided to sit with their grandparents, so Hubby and I were at the other booth with the baby in his carrier.

The kids both had six piece nugget meals, and hubby and I had twelve piece meals. Chick Fil A's nuggets are, of course, the best, so we were all happy with our choices. The kids only use ketchup on their nuggets, but I love sauces and tend to have a hard time choosing. I went with Chick Fil A sauce, which is basically a cross between barbecue and honey mustard. Delicious! Hubby, who is not so big on sauces, actually tried it and ended up stealing one of my packets. Luckily, I had planned ahead and asked for four. Mom had a three piece strip meal, and Dad had a sandwich. I was a sucker and got the adorable cow Pez dispensers for the older kids, so our total for seven came to $40.06. Not too bad, overall.

The service, I have to say, was pretty spectacular for a fast food place. Our orders were ready much faster than we expected, and everyone was calm and pleasant despite the crowd. There were even employees circulating around the tables making sure everyone had all the condiments they needed, refilling drinks, and prebussing our tables. I was truly amazed at having my diet lemonade refilled for free and without me even having to get out of my chair.

The kids had a great time, as not only did they get to play on the playground, but there were balloons as well. Overall, I really feel that Chick Fil A outdid themselves. Next time they are having a fundraiser or other event, I'll be there!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fun With Accommodations

This post is for all those parents out there whose children are "twice special." My dear daughter is one of these children, and while I wouldn't have her any other way, it can be a challenge to ensure she is receiving the education she is entitled to. In her case, she is labeled both gifted and ADHD.

For being gifted, she has an IEP (or Individualized Education Plan, for those of you lucky enough to not know what that means) that sets out certain goals that she should be striving for in her education. This is the same type of document that someone with a learning disability would have. In order to meet these goals, her school district has placed her in a full-time school for the gifted. She is currently in 5th grade, and she has been at this school since 2nd grade. She absolutely loves her school and does not want to leave it. Ever. She will be able to continue through 12th grade at this school, which has been rated in the top ten public high schools nationwide.

Then there is her other paperwork. That would be the 504 accommodations she has because of her ADHD. I know that this is a controversial diagnosis in some circles, but in my daughter's case, there was nothing else we could do but talk to her doctor. We have tried multiple strategies at home to help keep her organized and on track, but to no avail. We tried several medications, but the ones that helped her most killed her appetite and caused her weight to drop too low. We ended up using Strattera, which is a non-stimulant, but which also does not control her symptoms nearly as well as, say, Concerta did. At this point, we found we needed to take paperwork from the doctor into the school and meet with a whole roomfull of people, including teachers, counselors, a social worker, etc., to decide what needed to be done to help her be successful so that she can do academically challenging work without failing because of a lack of orgnizational skills. This meeting took place last school year, and it went very well. One of the accommodations that she received was that her teachers should check her agenda to make sure she is writing down everything she needs to turn in.

Which brings us to this year. My daughter's school has a seperate "Work Habits" grade at the elementary level, and she failed this for the second marking period just two weeks in. This grade is based on demerits (there are no merits), and once a student has received 10, they fail. She had done an essay incorrectly, and her teacher asked her to do it over correctly. This information never made it into her agenda. Her teacher never checked her agenda to make sure it was in there, so I never saw it. However, her teacher did give her one demerit for every day it wasn't turned in, which led to the loss of 6 or 7 demerits within two weeks' time. So, back to the drawing board. We emailed her counselor, because this failing grade has actually had a detrimental effect on her behavior. We'll be scheduling a new 504 meeting to figure out what can be done to help her succeed, for real this time. What fun!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Quotable Sunday: Babies!

Ok, so this week I'm not able to think of much else beside babies. The youngest member of our large household is now two weeks old, and hubby and I are not operating on very much sleep at the moment. So, in honor of Zach, this week's quotes:

When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies. And now when every new baby is born its first laugh becomes a fairy.
-- James Matthew Barrie

Babies are always more trouble than you thought - and more wonderful.
-- Charles Osgood

I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one.
-- Leo J. Burke

What good mothers and fathers instinctively feel like doing for their babies is usually best after all.
-- Benjamin Spock

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
-- Elizabeth Stone

Is it just me, or does the Stone quote remind anyone else of Voldemort and the horcrux? Does this mean my heart is now split into four, and if so, will this grant me some sort of immortality? Oh, that was just me? Nevermind...

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