Friday, February 26, 2016

Weekly Update: Finance Park and Cousins

We made it to Friday! That was the primary goal of this week; to make it to Friday with everybody sane and most of my little checkboxes completed. It's been a single parent week for me since Fred left last Saturday morning for a conference in Las Vegas and didn't returned home until today.

Amber completed very little book work this week, and it only bothers me a little bit. I must be worn down, since usually I'd be a nervous wreck over the situation. Still, there was plenty of activity and learning time; it just wasn't from books.

Shortly after taking Fred to the airport on Saturday, we started Amber's lessons for the week with a cooking lesson at my mom's house. She learned to make breaded pork chops and Italian potatoes. The salad she already knew how to put together, and my mom had homemade bread prepared and baked before we arrived. It was a delicious meal, but more importantly Amber enjoyed another cooking lesson where she actually was able to learn instead of dealing with me in the kitchen. Thanks Mom.

Cooking at Grandma's (day 1.5 of medication) and Sunday afternoon (day 2 of medication)
Monday and today were the only days Amber completed lessons from her regular school books. Amazingly, both days she's worked on math. Some day she will finish algebra 2 (advanced algebra) and move into geometry, but that day isn't going to be terribly soon. At least she understands the concepts and is making steady progress in math these days. Thank you Life of Fred.

The much anticipated Finance Park simulation at Junior Achievement was Tuesday. Amber enjoyed the experience and thought it did a good job of simulating real life by giving the students adult personas that were inline with each student's vision of their own future. The personas were based on educational expectations, lifestyle goals, etc that each student completed on the first screen during their simulation. The program gives each child a tablet and debit card to use while in the simulation, so everything is electronic.

Finance Park at Junior Achievement. At home in the evening that day. Day 4 of medication - could not eat dinner.
Amber had it pretty easy with a single mom persona who worked as a commodities trader, made $125,000 a year, and had a credit rating over 700 (it could have been better). Even with student loan debt and a small amount of credit card debt, she was able to secure a home and car loan, pay off her credit card debt, and eat the way she wanted. Amber said she choose to do free entertainment like the zoo, instead of spending money frivolously. I really don't know who's child this might be, but it doesn't sound much like me. Perhaps she's learning to do as I say, not as I do.

Honestly, it was a great program and if you ever have a chance to participate in a Junior Achievement program, I highly recommend it.

A good portion of Amber's school hours this week were spent in what qualified for P.E. credit. Physical therapy at the hospital worked Amber extremely hard on Monday with core strengthening exercises which wiped her out for the rest of the day. Wednesday and Thursday we met up with my mom and nephews for lunch and then two different kids' active entertainment spots. The first day we went back to Myseum that they all loved so much last Autumn.  Amber took it slowly since the place was pretty empty and thus was able to stay a little longer than anticipated.

Myseum on Wednesday. She spent a lot of time working on this section. Day 5 of medication - she only took 2 of 4 doses before we heard from the doctor to discontinue. No breakfast and a few bites of lunch.
Yesterday we tried Kokomo Joe's for the first time. The kids played mini-golf, drove bumper cars, tried a few arcade games, and tons of mini-bowling. My youngest nephew is obsessed with bowling and could have stayed there all day. Amber even managed a game before feeling a little sore. The lanes are shorter with balls that are smaller and much lighter than regular bowling balls; there aren't even finger holes. This allowed Amber to play for a little while without too much fear of dislocating her shoulder.

For Amber's medical update this week, we've stopped the gastroparesis medication on the advice of Amber's GI doctor. While she's feeling more human now, she wasn't doing so well by Wednesday. The medication was compounding Amber's existing nausea and getting worse every 6 hours with each dose. She was down to eating dry Cheerios and nothing else. She's been off of the medication for a whole day now and feeling somewhat better even if she is still rather queasy most of the time. Her gastroparesis was not improved at all by the medication and so she has a gastric emptying scan scheduled for next week. The GI doctor suggested she keep a bland diet for now, which suits Amber just fine. She can't eat much at one time and anything with fat isn't working out.

Her favorite of the day.
Accomplished this week:

  • 1 day of Finance Park simulation at Junior Achievement
  • 2 blocks of math
  • 3 blocks (and they were LONG) of P.E.
  • 1 Cooking lesson with Grandma
  • Flute practice and lesson
  • Literature - finishing her poetry unit
  • Wrapping up the two most recent Tapestry of Grace units
  • Religion studies
Next week our co-op classes resume for the last quarter of the school year and Amber has a full week of appointments as well. At this point, I plan to basically only assign Amber the Review Crew items we have going, because they cover most of the core subjects and we don't have hardly any other time. I thought February was crazy, but March is already full with only three week days that do not have commitments. I hope none of her doctors want additional appointments, because I'm already juggling and rescheduling doctors based on their importance to her immediate problems. (Seriously what is the pediatrician going to do for a fourteen-year-old checkup that is of use? He's been rescheduled twice now.)

Kokomo Joe's on Thursday. Glow in the dark mini-golf, mini-bowling, and Fruit Ninja in the arcade. No medication; ate 1/2 of her bland lunch.

Enjoy your weekend!

In case you missed these posts:
-Knitted Child's Minion Hat

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  1. We only worked on review items this week too. We were just to busy with relatives and tech week for the kids current dance show. We are praying for Amber and you. I hope the tests next week can give a clear answer to how to make Amber more comfortable.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. Sounds like a fun week and that Junior Achievement program sounds just wonderful! Still praying for you both and hoping that Amber is able to eat more and feel better.

  3. Glad to hear that Amber is feeling better and was able to get out to have some family fun! I can't even imagine having to worry about dislocating a shoulder while bowling! The Junior Achievement project sounds awesome!