Thursday, December 12, 2013

If We Make It Through December

I took dance for P.E. in high school. Much better than having to play volleyball or run. We stretched every morning to music. That was a really nice part of my day. The teacher played things like Bread and Prince and yes, even Merle Haggard. Those lyrics came to me this morning, sadly.

Whew. Finances are kicking my tail. I'd like to see us as poor, put-upon, hard-working Brenda and S who give so much and have such hardships come their way. But I'm more inclined (always) to see us as stupid, irresponsible Brenda and S who cannot get their act together financially. In truth, I don't think either one are correct views of the situation. And probably its a combination of the two plus some other view I don't even have.

All I know is that I'm glad God loves us. When I quit my job 9 1/2 years ago to come home (part time at first) there wasn't any possible, feasible way it was going to work on paper. And yet here we are. The Lord ALWAYS amazes me with the way things work out. He has an open stage to amaze me this month because from where I stand, things aren't good.

As if a year and a half of medical bills (still paying for Bee and that other little trip I took to the hospital) weren't enough, we've had a doozy of a spending spree on the medical front lately. Nothing like Carrie. She's the queen of the copay this fall. Still, we've spent nearly $400 on medical and medical related stuff since the week before Thanksgiving. Ouch.

On a happier note, we have our homeschool group's Christmas party today. The girls are each going to play a song on the piano. Little Bit has worked SO HARD to learn hers. It was so difficult for her and I'm so proud of her effort. I had to enlarge the sheet music and copy it onto 2 different colors of paper so the lines are alternating colors. I pasted all that inside a file folder so she can see the song better. Seeing double is a bummer. The girls are also going to do a little comedy act together. They've had so much fun practicing for it. And of course we have a book exchange. Our used book store here in town is going out of business and we got 3 books for the names we drew, plus a book Sweetheart wanted, for $7. I was very happy about that!

We are finished with piano and choir until the new year. That's a relief. I like being "off" for a while. Today we are knocking off of school because we have the Christmas party all afternoon and I need to drive to the big city to pick up a form for Sweetheart's physical therapy. Having some trouble with all that which I'll update you on later. So we're going to spend our remaining few hours cleaning the house. Whenever finances are bad, I ALWAYS have a desire to clean the house.

Is it because I feel out of control and want order? Does it make me feel more responsible? Do I think "Well, the least we can do is have a clean house?" I don't know, but it always happens. Psychoanalyze that.

And now I will count my blessings. Some of them.

1. Salvation from my Lord.
2. My husband and daughters.
3. A roof over our heads.
4. Cars to drive.
5. Food in the kitchen.
6. Heat.
7. Clothes to wear.
8. God's love.

Friday, December 6, 2013

These Things Were More Fun When I Was Little

Whew! The girls had their first choir concert last night. Due to losing our first venue, we had to have the rehearsal and concert all on one night. This resulted in a crazy schedule of keeping up with who needed to be in the auditorium at what time and getting them dressed in the bathroom at certain times and feeding them in between all of that. Goodness. All while keeping up with this little one who ran around for 4 hours before the concert started.

One of the finer moments was me sitting in a chair in the handicapped stall trying to put on my tights and trying to hurry because I knew our friend would need the handicapped stall in a minute....Little Bit was body blocking Bee from playing in the toilet. Bee is yelling, "Go 'way! go 'way!" to Little Bit and then she just dropped her arms down by her sides, threw her head back and screamed the most ear piercing scream ever.

After apologizing to everyone in the restroom, we got done and out of there. But the good news is she behaved very nicely during the concert.

 Little Bit, middle...
Sweetheart, top middle...(unedited pics. Sorry)

So I am very proud of them, etc. But more than that, I am relieved its over! What a lot of stress for a Mama! So many logistics to consider. Being a kid is much easier.

We got home well after 10pm so everyone is sleeping in today. After that, and pancakes, Sweetheart and I will be going to her first physical therapy appointment. School will happen in bits and pieces again today.

And Saturday we are going to see the Texas Tourette Association's Christmas Tree featuring an ornament by Little Bit. She's going to be so proud.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, December 2, 2013

The House o' Therapy

S and I thought it might be fun to drop a bunch of dough on doctor's visits in 2 days' time last week. Whee!!! We know how to party.

So, Bee had an ear infection--$25 copay
Sweetheart needed her back looked at as we were concerned about the curve of it--$25 copay.
Sweetheart was sent to have x-rays of back--can't actually remember but I think we spent money there too.
Little Bit went to an opthamologist because we found out she has double vision--$50 copay.
Sweetheart went to an orthopedic surgeon to look at back--$50 copay.

So the bottom line is this:

Bee got some antiobiotics. It's only her 2nd ear infection of her life so I wasn't upset about that. Problem solved. $10.00

Little Bit has convergence insufficiency. That means her eyes are not playing nice and working as a team. So when she does any "near work" her eyes take turns wandering outside of where they should be. You can't really see it happening, but it is. This explains the headaches, the crying, the frustration, the rubbing eyes, and all the trauma we've had in school this year.

I went back and looked at her last year's work and I could not believe the difference in font size between the two math books, the two phonics books, etc. Her reading books obviously are smaller as she's reading chapter books now. No wonder this problem has come up this year. (Alhtough she's always struggled in school. I can't imagine double vision + tics were helping.)

She says she's always seen double as long as she can remember. We found all this out during a conversation with my dad. We had Little Bit screened for Irlen Syndrome, we took her to the optometrist and her gave her reading glasses----nothing was helping. Then my dad told the story of when he used to get headaches and got some reading glasses as a young man in the Air Force. He descirbed how he sees double--Little Bit pipes up from the backseat, "That's how I see too!"

Um...what??? Good to know! So we dropped $64.00 on a computer program we can use here at home. She's to do the program, which will be her vision therapy, for 7 minutes a day, 5 days a week. It will take her a few months to complete the program and hopefully, this will fix her eyes. Oh I certainly hope so!! I could really go for school being easier. I was losing my mind before Thanksgiving break.

We are also using a homemade slant board for school for now. There is a really nice one for $30 online, but that can wait until after Christmas.

As for Sweetheart, she has a diagnosis of scoliosis and kyphosis. If you haven't heard of it, kyphosis is when the spine curves too much from the side view, causing a "humpback" look. We've been concerned about her back for about a year. We tried doing some different stretches, because I noticed her hamstrings are incredibly tight. She literally can not sit up straight on the floor with her legs out in front. She also could not do the stretches. We've nagged her about her posture for a really long time, and her walking posture has improved. But then we'll see a photograph of her sitting or bending over and it looks just awful. A friend of hers was diagnosed with kyphosis recently and when I found that out, I hit the internet. Oh....NOW I knew what exactly our concern was. It can be caused from poor posture, or a progressive disease called Scheurmann's disease. She has the latter. Some of the vertebrae in her back are wedge-shaped. So, she was relieved to find out it wasn't her fault. The good news is no surgery or brace neeeded. She's to do physical therapy for 6 months and come back for an x-ray. Physical therapy 2x a week for 4 weeks (or until she learns the exercises). I was going to take her to all eight sessions because I figure she'll do better with a professional watching her than she will at home, but at $25 a pop, we'll see...

We are also considering a gym membership for her so she can just generally strengthen her muscles, which will be needed to combat this disease. She doesn't have any gym clothes to wear to physical therapy or a gym.

Are you sensing a theme of concern by me? I KNOW I shouldn't be worried about money when my children's health is at stake. And really, the most important thing to me is that they are OK. I was relieved to have both diagnoses and a plan of action for both girls. BIG load off my mind. I've had enough time now to consider the cost of everything though. Ouch.

So, I'm hoping Bee doesn't feel left out, being the only child with no therapy going on at the moment. We're good, Bee. No, really.