Thursday, February 19, 2009

What's the point?

There are certain things that I hate about Down syndrome--IEP's and testing are just a few of them! Morgan's kindergarten teacher asked me if I could come to Morgan's testing because she had tried and Morgan wouldn't talk or answer anything for her. She thought Morgan might be more cooperative if I was in the room with her. I'm not sure what this test was for but I think it had something to do with her placement for next year. The teacher started off the test by letting me know she was going to give her the preschool test and then we could see about the kindergarten test depending on how she did on the preK one. The testing was done in a separate room away from the classroom. Morgan knew right away that something different was going on and decided to shut down. She whispered some things to me but otherwise she kept her eyes on the floor, thumb in her mouth and refused to play along with the test. The test was ridiculous--colors, shapes, numbers (1-10), capital and lower case letters and sounds. All things that Morgan has known since she was 3. It took THREE hours--over two different times of me going into her classroom-- to do this test and we never even got to the lower case letters! I was seriously raging inside during the test! I was so frustrated that Morgan wouldn't cooperate and can be so stubborn. I am a control freak and it drives me crazy that there isn't anything I can do to get her to cooperate and SHINE! But the biggest frustration for me was trying to understand why they even had to do this test. Do they not believe me? How would it benefit me to exaggerate her abilities to her teacher? I kept asking the teacher if I could do these things at home and video it so she could see how easily she can do these things when she doesn't feel threatened. She laughed and said that she knew that Morgan knows all of this stuff but she still has to test her. Why? My feelings changed from anger to sadness as I drove home. There are days that I just wish I didn't have to deal with any of this. I feel so inadequate to be the one that has to make all of the big decisions for her. Goals on her IEPs. Full inclusion or cluster classroom setting? All I can do is hope that I am making the right choices and leading her in the right direction and remember that some days are a lot better than others!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Our adventures in the Mexican Riveria

We just got home from a wonderful week cruising with the Seal family in the Mexican Riviera. A big thank you to Jack and Lolly for giving us such a GENEROUS Christmas gift and making it possible for all of us to go and make such great memories together.

Day1-- We flew from SLC to LA. Found our 'Starship' and got the party started...

with a little relaxation around the pool--swimming, yoga and eating

the mandatory muster call

Nothings better than dinner with all the cousins in the fancy dining room

and ending the night with a little fun (and minor surgery) in the cabin with Jeff and Rae

Day2--Day at Sea

We spent this day doing more of the same--swimming, relaxing and eating

Ryan and Hadley in the hot tub

The sunsets were amazing on this backdrop!

Day3-- Cabo San Lucas

We took a shuttle to Santa Maria Beach (closer to Cabo de San Jose) and had a great time shopping, getting tan, snorkeling and whale watching. But the highlight for Hadley were all the bees looking for a drink of our sugary pop. PTSD from our family pictures in the canyons. :)

waiting for our tender to take us in to Cabo San Lucas

Ryan playing frisbee at Santa Maria Beach

A view of the rocks from the cruise ship

Jack, Ryan, and Hadley

Day 4--Mazatlan

We had technical difficulties on this portion of the trip--my camera's battery died, Jack's camera (not battery) died but we did take a little video. I'm blaming the whole camera fiasco on the terrible joke that Gavin thought would be so funny...shaving his goatee and leaving a short little (mixture of Inspector Clouseau and Hitler) mustache.

We started off the day by taking a tour to the cathedral of the immaculate conception

Then we spent the rest of the day at this pool and beach

I know it is disappointing...but Gavin's moustache only made it 12 hours! Hallelujah!

Day5--Puerto Vallarta

We separated from the group (ok so they left us) and went to Sea Life Park and saw a Dolphin and Sea Lion show and then the kids had the time of their life swimming with the dolphins. Then we had some fun on the water slides and lazy river.

Hadley going for a dolphin ride

Jack getting a big kiss from Apollo

Ryan's handshake with Apollo

Having fun on the water slides

We took a cab back into the city and had a yummy dinner at Los Arbolitos and then walked along 'El Malecon'--the boardwalk. Lots of good memories at this stop!

Dinner at Los Arbolitos

Hanging out with the fam up on the top deck

Days 6 & 7-- Out to Sea

Not a lot of pics from these days. Luckily we found our chargers as we were packing to come home! We spent Day 6 out around the pool getting the last little bit of sun possible. But Day 7 is just one big motion-sickness blur. We spent most of the day in our rooms ordering room service and hoping to not throw it back up. The boat rocked all day long. It made it a lot easier to get off the boat and have excitement to return home. We were all so excited to get home and see Morgan, Griffin and Mia. We could see them watching for us from the window as we drove in the driveway. Morgan and Griffin were ecstatic and kept saying 'Welcome Home!' It took Mia about 15 minutes to decide if she was excited to see us again. And now she won't leave my side.

And of course I can't forget to thank my sweet mom (the day shift) and Mike and Jen Patch(the night shift) that watched the 3 little ones for us while we were out cruisin! I know from personal experience that that is not an easy task! Muchas Gracias!