Tuesday, November 19, 2013

In Which Many Many Things Happen

Well today was eventful!  I dropped the kids off for school and then spent the morning filling out paperwork in preparation for my intake meeting with our new respite care home health agency.  Even with filling out all the paperwork in advance, our meeting ended up being nearly two hours long.  I'll also probably be talking by phone with our assigned nurse tomorrow, and I'll be doing an orientation with her on Friday.  It's amazing how large an instructional manual I need for my kid; Connor's a complicated little guy.

I'm really excited to be starting up respite again, though; it's going to be great to not only have some occasional alone time in the evenings (while Eden's at swim practice) but also to be able to spend some one-on-one time with the Little Miss as well.  We're going to have our first outing this Saturday, and I think we'll have a pretty good time.  Connor will still be getting his Mommy-and-Boy time with me during Eden's swim practices where I don't have respite care, so I think this will work out well and the kids will both be getting some balanced time.

After my meeting I made a quick stop at Eden's school, ran back home and ate lunch, and then I was off to pick up Connor.  The oxygen equipment technician was waiting outside our door when we got back to do some routine maintenance on Connor's condenser.  Then I helped Eden with her homework while Connor had his quiet time.  Then we were off to the store, and then there was dinner to make and more homework and our nightly reading time and Connor's medications and bedtime for Connor and then Eden and then I kind of collapsed in a little heap in my easy chair and didn't move until it was time to let the night nurse in.  It was a busy day.

Eden's reading time, by the way, is probably the best thing in the universe.  Her English teacher wrote home saying the kids needed to be reading out loud for twenty minutes every school night.  We sort of neglected to tell Eden that it was only school nights the kids were required to be doing this, so we read twenty minutes every night.  Eden used to grumble and groan about this, but now she actually asks to do her reading time.  Of course, it might have something to do with the fact that she can't play on the iPad until her reading is done, but hey-- whatever works, right?  Anyway, not only is her reading seriously improving, but the twenty minutes of reading is basically an excuse for her to have my undivided attention the entire time, and get a little bit of snuggling in with my girl as well.  Right now the reading is very much a collaborative project; she still needs help with every third or fourth word in a sentence.  So we have to sit close together so that we can both see the book, which is great for that bonding and attachment that is so important to any adoption.

It's also a fantastic opportunity to introduce various pop culture references, slang, idioms, etc. that she'll run into over her middle school and high school years.  We've worked our way through four books now, that have slowly upped in vocabulary and maturity level.  We started out with a collection of For Better or Worse, worked our way through Amelia Bedelia Means Business, and then tackled Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life.  Currently we're reading Awkward, which is a book about a high school girl whose embarrassing video goes viral on the Internet.

Though it's true that because the books contain language and phrases that are popular in teen culture it can get a bit awkward sometimes (ever tried explaining the phrase "that's what she said" to a kid with a limited English vocabulary?) talking about the characters in the books is a great way to have conversations about a lot of topics that most teenagers are familiar with but that are new to Eden.  They also provide opportunities to talk about some of the cultural differences between American and Thai teens, and to draw parallels between the experiences the characters have with what we encounter in our daily lives.  We've probably got a few more weeks to go before this book is finished, but if anyone has any recommendations for what we might tackle next, I'm all ears.

Not that I need any excuse to read more books.  Oh well.



Lisa said...

I don't know if this is reading-level appropriate, but my favorite books growing up were The Giver, and Island of the Blue Dolphins. Blue Dolphins has a girl protagonist that has to protect her little brother when their tribe abandons the island and they are left behind. The Giver, I'm sure you've read. It's greatness.

Anne said...

I second the recommendation of The Giver, and it has 3 more books in the series. My husband, a teen librarian recommends Just Listen by Sarah Dessen.

sara said...

I loved Caddy Woodlawn if pioneer America isn't too much :)

Creative Like a Fox said...

Percy Jackson. A great series that many middle school kids have read, full of idioms and there are two movies... so it's pop culture relevant in a lot of ways. It's an easy read without being too easy.

Creative Like a Fox said...
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Anonymous said...

They are super long, but the Harry Potter books are awesome!

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