Wednesday, June 27, 2012

To Pre-K or not to Pre-K...That is the Question

Today has been a day that I have been putting off for two weeks.....pretty much until the last minute.  Today I took Haley to "big girl school" as she calls it, for pre-k screening.  For those not familiar with NC's pre-k program....qualification is either a financial need or some deficit.  They do let "normal" kids without financial need or deficit in, but the ones that are affected get first choice.  We've been told that Haley is pretty much a shoe-in because she has an IEP (her yearly therapy plan and goals). But I'm so torn.

Like most parents, it will be hard to see their "baby" go to real school.  And to do it a year early is particually hard to consider.  I'm not mentally or emotionally prepared to see this happen so soon.  But its reality, I have to let go eventually.....unless I home school....yeah right!!!!  One one hand it will give her a head start into the transition from preschool, she will already be acclimated to real school once kindergarten starts, whereas most kids are crying for mommy all day for the first two weeks.  Right now, that is the only pro to pre-k that I can identify.  But I know that's wrong, I'm just being irrational right now. 

I love her preschool....LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!!  She has been there pretty much from the beginning of her Joubert Journey.  She has been through every classroom. From the baby room to the three year old room and if she stays, the four year old room.  Every single one of her teachers have been so good.  Heck, everyone is, they all love her!!!  They all say they will be so sad when she leaves and will be heart broken if she leaves early.  So there is that sentimental attachment for me.

But what bothers me most is that she will be thrown into a classroom with 17 other children.  Her class size now is 8, sometimes less.  I feel like she is going to be thrown into a pack of wolves when she still has so much I want her to develop before that happening.  I really worry about her speech.  That is her main source of frustration.  If she is not understood, which is often, she gets very upset.  I suppose that is ok for her....she's been misunderstood most of her life, she's sick of it!  I only imagine that the teacher will not have enough time to stop and interpret what she is saying.  I fear that if this happens, she will regress and not say anything at all at school.  I want her to have this one last year of special treatment where people know and understand her and hopefully improve her speech to where she is understood.

On a slightly less important self-centered note, I will hate the dreaded car-rider line.  Sitting with car idling 1 hour before dismissal in order to be near the front of the line.  I will inevitabily be one of those unfortunates, but give me one more year of easy drop off and pick up! It also means getting up earlier to ship her off to school, and for those who know me persoanlly know this is not a good thing for anyone.

But most of all I don't want to face the reality of the fact that she is growing up and no longer a "baby".  She will always be OUR baby, but now she insists that she is a BIG girl and I don't like it!  I feel selfish in some regards that I may be holding her back, that maybe its the right thing to do.  And it will also be a SMACK of reality when she will really be in the minority being a special needs child.  Where she is now, she is in good company with many special needs children.  It might sting a little to see that.  Or I may be pleasantly surprised when I see her with "normal" children who don't know her and accept her.  And I have to believe that will happen, otherwise I may never be able to let go because of the thought of her being bullied or pick on because she's different.

One second I think we've made our decision and the next second we've changed our minds.  We won't know IF or where she would be placed until late July.  Maybe she won't be accepted after all and this will be a moot point (cheering yay on the decision to make!).  So we have some time to think about it.  Until then....I will be agonzing about the next step in her journey to "growing up".

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Howdy strangers!  I know, I know.....its been many a fortnight since I have blogged.  There have been several culprits contributing to this sad fact.  1) I felt very little was happening with us that was "blog worthy".  I mean who wants to know about the mundane happenings of clan Buchanan.....apparently some people think otherwise. 2) I just plain ol' got lazy.  I've had the time, but sitting down to write is sometimes a tedious task to accomplish.  I enjoy writing, but its sometimes painfully tedious to find material or inspiration to write.  But then I realized, I shouldn't always be writing for entertainment purposes to please my "audience".  This is a personal record of our family's journey.....and I have all the inspiration and material I need if I just look around.  3) Although I have had time in the past to write, I no longer have the luxury of complete "free time" anymore.  A few weeks ago, I started a new journey.  Ten years post baccalaureate, I have taken on the challenge to become a doctoral prepared pediatric nurse practitioner (yeah, that's a mouthful!)  That's another story, for another day, but it boils down to the fact that what I have known as free time will now be school time.

So, why the sudden push to blog again???  I get the occasional email from people, some affected by JS, others just random passer byers....but they all tell me what an inspirational story I am telling and how Haley gives them hope.  With every email, I get the spark to write again, but it never ignites.  Some regular readers tell me that they miss reading about whats happening in our lives and with Haley.  Some tell me I need this creative outlet to cope with the stress of having a special needs child and just plain ol' everyday life.  But the biggest reason is that I want to be able to look back and remember the little things.  Of course you always look back with a vague remembrance of random events, but I want to have a vivid memory of how those things happened and how I felt in that moment.  I gave up on keeping a baby book pretty early in Haley's life.  It was depressing to not fill in the blanks for "first time rolling over", "first word", "first steps", etc.  That, and the fact that in this tech age, its easier to type than hand write.

With all of that said, I am going to try to get back into the swing of blogging....if only short blurbs of "a day in the life of" Haley.  I'm also going to try to go back in time and document the events that I have, unfortunately, left undocumented.  I'm (re) committing myself in doing this for Haley and our family, for my regular readers, and for those who stumble across this blog when searching for information on JS.  What I ask of you, my readers, is to keep me accountable. Email me, call me, tweet me, facebook whatever you need/can do to spur me on.  Like someone recently told me "how time consuming can blogging really be, just sit down and do it!"


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Year 4

Wow! I really did let this blog fall off the face of the earth! Now I have to try and play catch-up!
So much has changed in the past 8 months! Haley just had her FIRST real birthday, being a Leap Day baby! It was nice to celebrate her birthday on her actual birthdate! We wanted to do something special for her birthday, so we had it at the Schiele Museum. It was the funnest party ever!




Its so hard to believe she is four years old now! Where do I begin??? Haley’s verbal communication is just blowing us away! I can’t keep up with how many words she can say now. We can have real conversations now, albeit short ones. Right now she is in the “why” stage. “why do dat”, “what do dat”, “whyyyyeeee”??? We are trying to be patient with it, but as parents of typical children also know, it can be so ANNOYING!!! We still have to play our fair share of charades and often its like interpreting a foreign language, but we (and she) are learning to function a little better with her often challenged communication. She can recite her ABCs, numbers up to 20, and has memorized the blessing
We took another beach trip. She enjoyed playing in the sand, but is still not interested in getting in the water…be it ocean or pool. We are SO hoping that she will swim this year!
Haley “played” soccer this fall. To say it was a complete disaster would be an accurate statement thru about 75% of the practices and games. Will was her team coach, and he really enjoyed that. I’m sure it was somewhat intimidating to her watching the other kids run, kick, jump, and be rambunctious. She did what she could, and spent the rest of the time watching from the sidelines. But we will try again next year, hopefully she will be more confident by then.
What she is really interested in is singing and dancing! This girl can shake her groove thing. We think she will be very musically inclined as she gets older.
She insisted she be a “PINK dog” this year for Halloween. Do you know how hard it was to find a PINK dog costume??? Harder than you think!
And for Christmas she, of course, wanted a BLUE dog….equally as hard to find!

Haley has been completely potty trained for several months now! We are so relieved to finally be out of diapers, although she still requires help getting her pants off and on and help onto the potty….I will take that any day over diapers! No more stinky diaper laundry!!!

Haley has lot of “boyfriends”. Is it starting already??!!

And of course she is still quite the camera ham!


Well, I know I just skimmed over the last several months. But this amazing little girl surprises us everyday. It is such a joy to watch her grow and change! Maybe I can do a better job of letting you all watch her grow by updating more often….we’ll see :)