Happy Lunar New Year (Year of the Tiger) and Happy Valentine's Day!!!
I am sorry to report that we did not celebrate the New Year. I had hoped to take M, C and MJ to a celebration, but C ended up having a guest stay the weekend and I was unable to accomplish that plan.
We did attend our church today. I took my 3 kiddos and C's guest. C and her friend (who I'll call Miss A) are both deaf. Miss A's parents are also deaf, so Miss A was raised with ASL being her natural language. She is the same age as M and C (they're all 7 years old) but she can spell almost anything. In fact (and I'm sorry for making this comparisson), she can spell better than my sister! For example, she spelled enthusiastic and then proceeded to show me the sign!!! I was stunned, to say the least. Anyway, as I was saying... the 5 of us attended Mass and I ended up having to interpret 2/3rds of the Mass because Miss A preferred to do that than read the book. I was unsure I would be able to do it because I thought my ability was cruddy. Come to find out, my ability to sign is good... It's my ability to read what others are signing to me where my troubles lay. In addition, the other problem is that C is still at the beginning of her signing abilities. She signs super fast, and she is using real words, but she is putting things together that make no sense. It's as if she's talking like a baby who is learning how to talk. She's learning the words but needs to learn how to use the language correctly in order to communicate. So, it has been a big relief learning that she isn't surpassing me!!! Whew!!! ;)
In addition to all that has happened in the past weeks, we're adding packing and cleaning to our list of chores because we're preparing to move back with Matt. He's due home from Iraq in a few weeks, though we won't know exactly when he'll be back in the states until he calls us and says, "I'm back!" That's okay, though... As long as he comes home safely.
In the mean time, we're having to deal with a few fallouts from M and C due to the move. M has been fighting with a fellow school mate. I actually had an opportunity to chat with the other boy's mom on Thursday. She surprised me by saying that she doesn't care and that she's not correcting her child at home. So, ultimately, she is condoning and encouraging the boy's behavior. Well, I can't continue to punish M if he isn't going to have a way out. Needless to say, I told M to kick the boy's rear end if he won't be allowed to walk away. I also broached the subject with M's teacher so taht she would be aware that though M would understandably get into trouble at school and he knows that I will support this action but at home he will no longer get into trouble if he is fighting with this particular little dude and paraphrased the previous conversation. She was surprised and totally understood where I was coming from in my stance. She appreciated my honesty and the support I would give regarding the school's need to punish the participants of a fight but was supportive about my need to encourage M to defend himself.
As for C... She's been interesting, to say the least. She actually started crying on Thursday morning jsut as we were heading out the dorr to go to school. When I asked her what was wrong, now (because she is truly my daughter... She is super dramatic), she glared at me and M and said, "I'm so mad at you two!" Wow, wonder what we did wrong? So, when I asked her, she explained that she was severely angry at him and me because we were making her move to a new home and a new school and she couldn't take Miss A. She didn't want to go! Well, I was stunned that she would actually explain this to me and I didn't know whether to be irritated that she, as usual, was blaming M for yet something else or to be thrilled and proud that she would actually express herself! So, I chose a middle ground and told her that I was super proud of her telling me these things but that she didn't have a right to be angry at M since he had nothing to do with the move. If she wants to be angry at someone she needed to be angry at Mommy and Daddy. Well, that immediately cleared up her tears because there was no way she was going to be mad at Daddy. Mommy? Sure. M? Definitely. But Daddy? No Way!!! She's also been having some issues at school, too.
So, both kids are having some bahavior problems associated with the move. But they are really doing far better than I had anticipated. Even MJ is showing some signs of nerves, though he has no clue what is going on. I think his problem is more due to the fact that he doesn't have my parents around every day (that or he is responding to my stress level, in which case I'm in trouble because that would be two kids who feed off my energy).
On the positive side, M and C are both asking when Daddy will be home. The only problem with that is that they are asking me every few hours. I finally pulled out my calendar and marked the date that we are moving (as Matt should be home by that date). They have been crossing off the days since the 1st of February. We're all definitely ready!!!