Friday, August 22, 2008

Week in Review: Week 2

Katie has scoliosis. She was diagnosed three years ago. And has been wearing what is called a Boston Brace for almost two years. She has an "S" shaped curve. What her brace does, is it has padding where those curves are. And the pads PUSH her spine straight. It is painful to wear. So painful that in the beginning she would cry for hours. Sometimes it is even more painful to remove the brace. Which she needs to wear at least 20 hours a day. She gets heat rash on her skin. Which tends to bleed, scab, and then scale. But, amazingly, over time. She has gotten used to her brace. You wouldn't know she had it on. Unless you hugged her. Or touched her torse. And felt the hard plastic. Or the metal clips. She does not like to acknowledge that it is there. She doesn't want to answer questions. And she doesn't want anyone to know. I wish she could find an explanation that would make her comfortable.

And on Monday, she was casted for her third brace in 2 years. At $7000 a pop. She has grown 2 1/2 inches just since March. I tried to convince her to let me take pictures of this process. Of how they cast. The strange table that she has to lay on. Her maniacal orthodic maker, Larry, as he had fun with her in cutting off the cast. With an electric saw. But no. She said no. I and respected her wishes. And now she is respecting that I have to report it. Maybe next time she'll be comfortable enough to let me take pictures. Because I know there is going to be a next time. For another $7000.

We did manage to have some fun this week, too. We went to the indoor aquatic center (and I have more about that another day). We started church choir. Our homeschool group had its "Not Back to School Party." And we did school work. That counts as fun. Right?

BIOLOGY: Most of the work Katie has done this week centers around observation through the microscope. A microscope that we bought many many moons ago. And that we had not taken out of the box. Until this week. And it still works! She loves it. We have all kinds of slides. And today we had to take the netting off of a bandage for her too look at. And see what the fibers are doing. I tried to take a picture through the microscope, but it didn't work. It would be very cool to have one of those microscopes I could attach a camera to. Or one that could be hooked up to your computer so that you could view on your monitor. But...I think we will just be content that we have a microscope. And that the girls are so fascinated with what they can discover

HISTORY: We started off the week with a little drama. Because I asked Katie to draw a cover for her History Odyssey notebook. It caused a complete meltdown. I suppose I should be sympathetic. I think I would have a break down too, if someone asked me to draw something. But, she got over it. And found something to trace. And we labeled the sections for her notebook. And talked about how to follow the lesson plans. She read about the first civilizations, irrigation, trade, and the first megaliths in Europe.

Who wants a trivial educational side note? It was a rehetorical question. There is a theory that the entire reason we have civilizations. The entire reason that people stopped their nomadic existence. And planted crops. Was because of beer. That someone accidentally discovered the "feeling" fermented grain gave them. And they put down roots. And grew crops. Not for sustenance. But for beer. Beer: the root of all civilization.

LOGIC: Katie continued with Logic countdown. And we moved into analogies this week. We talked about process of elimination - and how to make educated guesses when you don't know the answer. Like in this problem:

Cod is to trout as grouse is to: ________

a. covey b. bird c. fish d. egret

She was stumped because she didn't know what a grouse was. Or a covey. So, I asked her what she could immediately eliminate - and that was bird and fish. And then, she could just make an educated guess. And then we talked about another problem. In which a lot of the answers appear to fit:

Beggar is to poor as president is to __________

a. chairman b. leader c. powerful d. nation

She knew that nation could be eliminated. But the other three seemed to be possible. So then, I asked her what kind of word is beggar. And what kind of word is poor. And then the answer becomes obvious.

WRITING/GRAMMAR: We still have another week before Write at Home begins. So we have continued with Daily Grams and the Note taking workbook. I am now on the same page as Katie. The note taking workbook is boring. So, we are going to switch tactics and do daily grams and a vocabulary program. I got Wordly Wise. And we'll see how that goes starting next week.

GEOGRAPHY: This week Katie studied Malawi. There is no such thing as a book about this country. So we did our research on the web. Katie wanted to study it because at her summer camp they talked about that country. And things that we might do to aid them. In monetary and missionary relief.

Other Stuff: At the Not back to school Party we registered for classes. Katie will be starting her fourth year of Latin. And continuing with swimming/stroke clinic and folk dancing. All of those start after Labor Day. Next week we get back into our regular routine with piano lessons.

That was our week. And then tonight? Only 6 hours and 15 minutes and my girls will both be spending the night with friends. Both of them. Not that I am counting or anything. Which means Michael and I get a date night. Without having to arrange for a babysitter. What shall we do?! When was the last time you went on a date? What do you like to do?

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Brian and Staci said...

So sorry about your Katie...but sounds like she is a REAL trooper! And sorry about the 7000buckaroos too--youch :o I am not gonna complain any more about my little wrist cast...nosiree! Sounds like a very busy week...what a great teacher you are! I have an old friend who goes to Malawi every year (I'm just sure it's the same place) for missionary work. I'm sure he'd be a wealth of knowledge if you need some help. Please let me know...I haven't talked to him in a long time...but I'm sure I could track him down. Have a great weekend!

Brian and Staci said...

I'm so sorry about your Katie. Sounds like she is quite a trooper though. No more complainin' about my little wrist cast :( No siree. And sorry about the 7000 buckaroos--YOUCH :o Sounds like you have had a very busy week! What a great teacher you I suspected :) I have an old friend (pastor from when I was growing up) who goes to Malawi every year (I'm just sure it's the same place you are talking about?) I'm sure he'd be a wealth of knowledge if you need any. Just let me know...haven't talked to him in sooo long but I'm sure I could track him down. OH YIPPEE for date night! Where you goin'? Whac cha doin'?? We went on a date night a few weeks ago....just out to eat but still was fun. We definitely need to plan them more often :) HAVE A GREAT NIGHT!

Brian and Staci said... obviously my first comment wasn't lost...I thought it was so I tried to retype the second as closely as I could...hey I did a pretty good job! Sorry...maybe I'll make one of your top commenters though :)

Sydney said...

I have to say I so admire the efforts you put into homeschooling. You obviously take it seriously and have really researched everything. It's awesome to see how much you love your kids and what you are willing to do for them. I'm sure Katie appreciates it... and will even moreso down the road.

Weith Kick said...

Beer as the root of civilization? It could be true. Beer would make you feel less likely to move around. Just hang out for a long time instead.

I had a microscope when I was a kid. I used to cut myself and then look at my blood. That was the coolest thing. Oh, and hair. I looked at hair a lot. I still have that old microscope. I wonder if it still works.

Insane Mama said...

Date night? Go have a picnic in the woods.. That is what I would do, bring candles or tiki torches and a blanket and something yummy. Your katie sounds like a trooper. Wow 7000 for the brace? Yikes

Rhea said...

There is so much for me to comment on in this post that I don't even know where to start. Ok, yes I do.

I had no idea about Katie's brace. It hurt me to hear how painful it was at first. Does she sleep in it, I take it? But takes it off to swim?

I love hearing what all courses and things you've studied this week. I can't believe there is no book on the country Malawi! I'm always looking for a market to make maybe I need to travel to these countries that have no books on them...and do my own creative take on them. Or not. Maybe there's a reason no one goes there...

Wonderful post!!

Brandy said...

Eeek... expensive brace.

I love date nights...have a great time!

Anonymous said...

You are a busy lady but aren't all moms? LOL I enjoyed reading about your week. Thanks for sharing. :)

Keys to the Magic Travel said...

Staci--I think blogger is having issues these days. I am constantly leaving double comments. You are right. Katie is a trooper. She made it through the hard part - which was just the adjustment to wearing it - and now its like second nature. Except for what it does to her skin.

For date night - we are going out to dinner. And we might go to Target. Maybe trivia at our neighborhood bar. Not really sure. Except for the dinner part.

And for Malawi - thanks - but we found what we needed online. And we found an encyclopedia of nations and got our info there. And next week we are moving on to a new country...

Sydney--It's just what we do :-) It doesn't mean I am a better parent. Or that I love them anymore than any mother loves her kids. It is what works for Katie. And what works for Madalyn is public school. BUT, it is hard work. And I am NEVER alone. So I am sooo excited about tonight with no chillins...

Weith found my tidbit for the male reader (meaning you. Cause it's just you. Except for my husband. And I already told him that tidbit a long time ago). The theory makes a lot of sense. You'd have to stay put somewhere to make it in quantity. And it would explain why domestication of grains came about. But who knows!

IM--I am thinking inside. At a restaurant. Where I am served. And I am so glad we have insurance. But the co-pay at 10% is still not something I had planned on for this year.

Rhea--Yes, she does sleep in it. That is the easiest part. When she first got it, the idea was to slowly build up to 10 hours a day, and once you do that, its easy to add sleep time, and then you are at the full time. Except we had a hard time getting past the first 2 hours. So, we ended up doing it in reverse. It took two nights, and she slept in it...and then we went all day.

Most days she just takes it off to shower. It's best if she eats when it is on...otherwise she might throw up when we put it back on. And of course she takes it off to swim. And sometimes I let her go without. But only because she is so good about wearing it. And putting it back on. When we went on our cruise, I let her keep it off the whole week. When we were at the beach this summer, she pretty much was wearing it only to sleep.

Brandy--Thanks so much. I cannot wait. Only 1 hour 15 minutes left...

Kysha--Thanks fo coming over! You are right...all moms have their own degree of busy. And I think we could even broaden that to all women :-)

Paige said...

Hope you have a great night, thanks for sharing your week!

Frizzy said...

I can't imagine how she must feel having to wear that brace all the time. I know some day she will appreciate it and what it's doing for her. Though she doesn't talk about it now she will later as it's contributing her future self and identity. She's already a stronger person for it and for your support.

As for homeschooling, Oh my do you deserve an award. I can't do it no matter how badly I want to. My patience is just not there. My husband on the otherhand would be brilliant at it as I can see you are.

Shannon said...

Poor Katie :( Will she have to wear braces much longer? Or once she stops growing she would no longer need one?

My girls are off to sleepover tonight, too! Woo hoo! Shane & I have no plans though.

I'm trying out Netflix... so maybe I'll watch a movie. I've got Atonement & Becoming Jane :)

Anonymous said...

Ugghh..the brace doesn't sound like fun for mommy or Katie. Glad she has gotten used to it. And school sounds like it got off to a very good start at your house. Now for date night! Have so much fun and RELAX. That's the best part of having kids gone. My favorite date night includes dinner, maybe a movie, and then a trip to Barnes and Noble for a book and a piece of cheesecake. We say we're old when date night ends with both of us in the same bed doing nothing but reading. ;)

Unknown said...

((hugs)). Mac went for her 2nd follow-up for her scoliosis. Thankfully she has no gotten much worse, so we are still in a holding pattern and hope to squeeze out of this w/o having to brace at all. Not sure this poor family can afford $7k. Have you heard of the Spine Core brace. Mac was bugging me to look into it if she needed to be braced.

Unknown said...

Beer is the root of civilisation, I am so not telling my hubby that!!!

Katie sounds like one brave young lady. Not fun to be in a brace at all. I was in for one for a short while, after a back injury..

What fun to be learning about other countries. One of the best ways to broaden their horizons!

Date night ... we are having one tomorrow night. Dinner then a show at one of our local casinos. Really looking forward to it!!!

The trivia at your neighbourhood bar sounds like fun. One of the bars back home, had a trivia contest night. I really enjoyed it!! have a great night out without the kiddos !!!

Kelly said...

Poor Katie, I'm glad she's adjusted to the brace...growing 2 1/2 inches is good right?! Though not for your pocket book!!
Have a great time on your date tonight...I wouldn't have the energy after your busy homeschooling week!

Rosemary Q said...

My sister-in-law had scoliosis. She wore a brace and had an operation. She has the best posture of anyone I know. Katie is a trooper.

Date Night sounds great. We usually go to dinner and a movie.

Rhea said...

What did y'all end up doing for your date night?

I'd love to catch a movie...or go to the theater (haven't seen a play in a while).

Bowling's always fun.

I haven't had a date night in forever. We really need one. I feel like me and hubby are strangers these days. He's working and commuting to Dallas...I'm taking care of kids and helping them get ready for school and sports.

And for some reason, I'm up too late. Have football scrimmage first thing in the morning too. Bah.

Rhea said...

And, I noticed Lula creeping up on my number 1 spot on your top commenters list. Can't have that!

Unknown said...

Your homeschooling week sounds great! We just started our school year this week with some simple review. The girls wanted to learn something new... but I was lazy over the summer and waited too long to order their books. They won't be in for another two weeks. It looks like we will be doing lots of book reports till then. ;)

Jennifer P. said...

$7,000--OUCH! I'm certain she is worth every cent and then some though!

All this talk about homeschooling. SIGH! I miss it already! My Zane wouldn't have melted down about the drawing part, but if I'd asked him to WRITE instead of draw---DRAMA!!! :)

Gina said...

I went on a date with my 2 youngest tonight. Does that count. Oh, you meant with my husband? It was...uh...well...i don't remember!

Susie said...

I just came over from Blog Around the World and I have to say that I like what I see. I am adding you to my reader right now:-)

ohhollyf said...

I'm checking out ALL of your Hsing resoures, thanks.
Debbie @ ThisistheLife's reallife friend, Holly

amy said...

Yaay for date night! We NEVER get a date night. (Boo!)

Angie's Spot said...

Wow, Katie is a real trooper with the whole brace thing. I had a friend with that exact issue and she hated to draw attention to the brace. I can't imagine how she must feel.

Still enjoying all the homeschool stuff! Although, I couldn't answer those "this is to that as..." stuff either. So, tell Katie not to feel too badly.

And we had a date night last Friday too! I'm reporting on that this Friday. We called in a favor, so we didn't have to pay for a sitter, thankfully.

Jill said...

I'm finally getting the chance to re-read through this. I can completely respect your daughter's wishes about photographing her brace... though I must admit I'm curious to see it. It sounds like it must be difficult for her to wrap her mind around - though the end result will be well worth it.

And date night? What I wouldn't give for a night w/o the kids... especially around 2 am when I get a visitor who wants to sleep with us...