Saturday, November 21, 2015

hanna's dental assessment

Hanna had an appointment today at our local Children's Centre. It's a rehabilitation centre and where Hanna receives her OT and speech from. 
They have a dental clinic there as well, and since Hanna is already getting services from them, our dentist thought we should check out their clinic and see if she would qualify, and what they would want to do about her underbite. 
She entered the clinic and just like this time way back in 2013,
the atmosphere in the room was so "off". 
There was a pediatric dentist, a speech pathologist, and a social worker waiting for us in a room full of chairs. 
In silence.
We awkwardly entered. Very quiet, and just smiling at them as we walked by to find our own chair in the midst of random empty ones.
Hanna said her "hellos" and I tried to answer all of their questions about my daughter's "abnormalities" the best I could, knowing she was listening, right next to me, and understanding everything coming out of my mouth. 
Then, we moved into a small corner of the room that had an examination chair. She climbed on up, and let the doctor do his exam. She did everything he asked, and then was assessed by the speech pathologist, Tanya.  As Hanna is repeating silly sentences to her in her perfectly adorable little voice, Tanya tells me (like it's a bad thing) that her voice and pitch must be from her "overall anomaly". 
Ugh. It's like being back in the genetics clinic. 
Meanwhile, the social worker is telling me that she's here for the times that may come when we need her for emotional help or to help Hanna cope with nervous feelings before treatment. 
Honestly, it was putting me in a pretty bad mood. It would've helped if I knew what to expect going in. I was told it was a dental assessment. That's it. 
I wasn't prepared to go into great detail of everything we went through at SickKids, and to hear words like "anomaly", "surgery", and discuss all of her "abnormalities". 
We ended the visit with the conclusion that they don't have enough information on her condition to say what options we have yet. All I know is that our next appointment will include all of the above individuals, and an orthodontist and oral surgeon will also be added to the mix.
I left in a bad mood. I don't really know what I was expecting, but it wasn't that. 
Hanna was thrilled as she walked out with a bright pink, glow-in-the-dark toothbrush. While still with the social worker, she tells me "You were right, Mom! They were really nice in there!". We got a few giggles from the workers, and we said our goodbyes and left. 
When we got to the car, I was feeling pretty crappy. I still had to do some running around in the city, but I just wanted to go home. I felt bad that Hanna was attending a rehabilitation centre. I felt bad that she was being spoken to in a baby voice spoken so slowly as if she couldn't understand the language. I felt bad about all of her "abnormalities". It brought back all of the uncertainties we had when she was a baby. "They" did not expect much out of this sweet girl who was now kicking my seat as she sang Jingle Bells in the car seat behind me.
I was feeling bad for just a couple minutes, and then the feeling stopped as soon as she interrupted her singing to talk to me. 
She tells me "You were right, Mom. I wasn't expecting them to be as nice as Dr. Dennis! Now I have a dentist for my teeth, and a dentist for my mouth. How cool is that?!"
It stopped my gloomy mood abruptly. Shame on me. Yes, Hanna. How cool is that?! Smarty pants.
She has these amazing opportunities and services available to her and all I can think about is why she is receiving them, and focusing on the negative part of that! It's absolutely absurd.
She needs extra help, and extra services because she is extra special. And that is pretty cool. 
She is amazing. There's no doubt about it. 
Shame on me for having such negative feelings toward those really great people in there today. They're setting us up to get some help, and to make Hanna even more perfect than she already is - and here I am, judging them because they don't know how amazing my little girl is. They're just doing their jobs and acting as they do every day with so many other children. I am so incredibly thankful for Hanna's health and lack of major problems that these people see daily, and I thank my lucky stars every single night for that.
Thank you, Hanna. For knocking my socks off daily, and for literally kicking the bad mood right out of me today. 
I needed it. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

happiness is...

...Blowing bubbles in your milk. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

the one about school

Gracie does great in school. She loves being home with me, and she really is doing great. 
Hanna, on the other hand, gives me a hard time, almost daily. 
 It's totally discouraging for me. I want to feel like I'm doing the right thing by having her at home for school.

Today, she worked so hard for me. It's days like today that make me feel like there's no question about it - I'm doing the right thing. 
She is learning so much. If she was in school, I think she would get lost in the shuffle. Her confidence would be shattered daily, and she just plain old wouldn't be comfortable. 

Here's a couple examples of what kind of work she's doing these days:

 I was very impressed with the pepperoni math page. She did the entire page on her own. I watched as she did it, but she did it all. She counted the pepperonis and then matched them up with the number word. She read those words, and got them all right. That's just awesome.
 This is our "greater than" and "less than" page. I draw out the numbers nice and big for her to see them, and she draws in the right symbol. Pretty good, huh? 

She does a nice, solid load of work every day, and I know how good it makes her feel when she's doing a great job. 

She is very smart, and honestly, I think it would be overlooked in school. I think assumptions would be made about her, and she wouldn't prove herself to anyone. Maybe she would do what they expect from her, but what they expect, maybe wouldn't be enough. I expect a lot  from her. Tough love is what she gets from me, and I think she needs it. 
Quite honestly, I know she needs it. And, from what I'm seeing, it's working. 
So, I've come to the conclusion that being home with me, is going to be great for her. 
It already is.
Yeah, sometimes she gives me a hard time, A lot of days are very difficult. 
She deserves the best, and I'm choosing to be the best for her.

I've been teaching my girls since the day they were born. 
Naturally, a mother's job is to teach and take care of her kids, and then eventually many will hand them over to a stranger to teach them their formal education.  I have nothing against public schools. But, I've chosen to teach them myself, and I'm taking it very seriously. I know it will be tough, but I also know that it's a gift to have them home and witness their minds growing every single day.  

Gracie had her first sleepover at a friend's house this past weekend. This friend attends public school. She made 13 other friends at this party, and none of them judged her for not attending school. She is confident, and strong, and being home, in a positive environment to help with chores, siblings, and every day family life has helped her become who she is today and who she will grow up to be.  

Hanna is becoming so independent. She knows that she has certain jobs to do every day, and she does them with no complaints. (These are the non-school related jobs. She definitely complains about school.)
I can track what she's learning day to day, and compare my own notes from the month before to see progress. 
If there was no progress, I wouldn't be doing this. I'm teaching it, she's learning it, and we're both seeing it. And that is a fantastic feeling. 

This is my job now, and I feel like it's what I'm supposed to do.

(Now, I just have to remember where this post is, so I can come back and read it every other week to remind myself when I'm having a bad school day.)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

quote of the day

Hailey: "What?! A man with a tail?!"