Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Update, mostly about Nate, but Audrey and school too

What do you do in the middle of the night when you can't sleep? Why blog of course! :D 

I hate to say "I've been busy" because, full disclosure, I sit on my butt all day (which is why I'm taking a yoga class this semester!). But my mind is busy. Preoccupied with school, kids, personal relationships, etc. 

School is going well. I don't know if I mentioned it before on here (I think I did), but I got a 4.0 last semester. I don't feel like I'm bragging, because it's not something I just happened upon! I worked really hard for it and it was the first one I've ever gotten in college. I'm hoping for another GPA at least close to it this semester, but I'm taking Chemistry and Math 1040, so I'm not going to beat myself up if I try my hardest and don't get it. I really like being in school. It's a self esteem builder to feel like I'm working towards something. I spent a lot of time trying to talk myself out of it and do something easier, but I just feel like there's something I still need to finish and I just realized it would never go away unless I powered through and got it done. 

Nathan has been learning a ton. He is an absolutely AMAZING reader! He blows me away! I'll have to post a video of it some time. I have to say, it's hard for me to want to talk about it a lot because I really don't want to give the impression that I think Nate is exceptional and every kid should be at his level. Truth be told, by age 8, research (that I am not citing because I'm too lazy to search for it) has shown that most 8 year olds are at very similar reading levels. There really isn't an advantage to be able to read earlier. Part of me wonders if that's just because of the way the school system teaches though....I actually haven't thought of that. But anyway, it's really quite a sight to see. I do find that it has it's advantages (and a few the fact that if he really wanted to know what I'm spelling to keep him from hearing, he could figure it out. He hasn't really done that yet though, but it will happen). One example of an advantage is if we're at a swimming pool, he gets so excited that he wants to run from place to place so I can show him the sign and ask him what it says. When signs tell him to do something, he actually listens haha!

I really love the way he retains information. He is a really bright kid. Honestly, I had very little to do with it. It's all him. I don't pat myself on the back for being a "good mom" and teaching him to read. He mostly taught himself! I mean, I helped him along the way, but it's not something I pushed him to do. And that's just it too. He may be really smart and retain a lot of information, but he has really poor decision making skills and has a really difficult time grasping the concept of consequences to actions. I'm not going to get into it fully, but basically the best way to describe him is that he makes irrational decisions based on emotion instead of logic. So for example, a kid with this kind of thought process is sitting in a tree and his mom yells at him "it's time for dinner" he may jump right out of the tree because he made an emotional decision. It was faster and simpler to jump right out, but he didn't think about the fact that he might get hurt. Most of what frustrates me about Nate is when he makes emotional decisions instead of rational ones. So, for example, we went to Disneyland two weeks ago. In the airport he started walking up the escalators the wrong way when we were trying to get in the security line. ALL of us started yelling at him to stop and come down. He didn't. He wasn't trying to be malicious or purposely piss anyone off, he just wanted to do it so he was going to do it. Whether it made sense or not, it didn't matter. The thought came in his head and that's the end of that. Or another example was when I was waiting for my mom, sister, and niece to go see Mickey (we had gone to see him by ourselves like a half hour before that) so I sat down at Goofy's house while Nate played on the little playground. I started worrying about not being able to check in for our flight the next day (the standby priority goes off of who checks in first) and was calling and texting a couple people to try checking in for me and I looked up and he was gone. I thought he went one place, but he wasn't there. I started to panic a little, but remained calm to not alarm anyone around me. I walked out of the playground area to find him running toward me (totally fine, not crying or anything). Never did it occur to him that if he left and didn't tell me that he left that he could end up getting lost. This is how he makes every decision. I can't tell you how many times he has gone into the kitchen to "make" something and no matter how many times and how I explain to him why he needs to ask first, he NEVER does. So anyway, it's something we've been working on. I recently discovered that this may be caused by a neurological disorganization where the pathways in his brain are crossed (people with dyslexia have neurological disorganization) and it might be a simple fix to exercise his brain a certain way to help those pathways to straighten out (to put it in Laman's term). 

Audrey is doing really well too. Her speech is great! I worried about it being delayed, but the sentences she says blow me away sometimes. She is a lot more lucid than Nate. She doesn't know her ABC's as well as he did at her age, but she is smart in a totally different way (I don't love one more than the other....but I won't lie and say that Audrey's not easier than Nate...easy doesn't mean anything though). Her little voice is just amazing. She can't say her R's so it's pretty funny to hear her try. She usually replaces it with a Y or W sound. Here are some examples of Audrey language:
I'm a monster RARRR!!!-I'm a monstey waaaaaah-ey

Maybe I'll think of some more later, but I need to go to bed! :D