Wow it has been quite a ride! I believe the last time I posted we were back in South Carolina visiting relatives for a couple of days before heading to our final destination. And holy cow that was one long sentence! After three days in Charleston, we headed up north. We spent one night in Virginia, and then the next day were able to make it up to Pennsylvania. We were just a few miles shy of our final destination before we stopped for the night. We spent a month and a half living in our 26ft trailer until we finally found a place. In that month a lot has happened.
First off, we got the boys enrolled in school. This will actually happen again this week since the schools they were in are in a different district than we are now. See, when we first got here the first call we made was to a realtor, who put us in touch with a campground. (Since by that time we wanted to be able to unhook our trailer from the Jeep....makes it a lot easier to get around town!). Now, mind you, this was FEBRUARY-most of the campgrounds were closed for the season. At least the ones with running water. But, the realtor managed to find us a gem of a campground that was still by some grace of the Lord, open. But, there were some obstacles. Even though this camp was open and had running water, every time the temperature dipped to below freezing it froze the water running inside our hoses to the RV. So, we had to disconnect the water when this happened. Not such a big deal when we could hook it back up the next day and just turn it off for the night times. Until we had a cold spell that lasted for days on end, and the temps remained below freezing. At that point, we were forced to buy bottled water to do things like dishes, and some cooking. We were also forced to use the camp showers. As long as you did not mind it being 19 degrees with 10" of snow outside-walking there was no problem. Then there was the obvious fact that it was cold. Real cold. Which meant we were using the heater in the trailer. Which meant we were spending $30 every 3-4 days to refill one of our propane tanks. We tried to keep the other one as full as possible, but there were times where we had to refill them both. That is not too bad, but we also were spending about $20 in laundry a week as well. We went and bought some portable heaters and only used the propane tanks for things like cooking. That saved us a bunch! Now, one tank could last as long as two weeks! So, you get that living in the RV was not exactly easy, but we did it.
The boys were enrolled at first in the F school district-because that is where our RV happened to be parked. This district is probably the most wonderful school district I have ever been a part of. Michael absolutely LOVED the school he was in-for the first time in his entire life. Michael was in school just days after we arrived here. Nick on the other hand, took a bit longer. We enrolled him in F school district-just like Michael. I think the best thing Nicks old school did for him was to make his IEP like 30-40 pages long. The district rep. read this and I got a call from her personally a couple of days later. They were going to recommend that he go to the Barber National Institute, and we set up a date to tour the school. We went on the tour, and Mike and I both agreed-this school is phenominal. It took about another week to get everything arranged with paperwork and transportation, and we were kept in the loop the whole time. Nick started a mere two weeks ago, and the change in him has been drastic. He hardly meltsdown. We have maybe had three minor meltdowns in the two weeks since he has been going to that school. He has his own 1:1 aide in class, the class is only 6 students. Everything in their school is adapted for handicapped kids as well as autistic kids. Autism is what they specialize in. We get daily reports of how he is doing, and he is making excellent progress. He is in what they call their Partial Hospitalization Program. In this program, everything he needs is provided by the school. Which includes the medication he is on. We are in the process of getting him an Access Card-which is what they use to get him these things in the school. It will also get him his private therapies at home. All of this has been a whirlwind for us. We knew it would be, and it seems like an enormous undertaking getting everything we need set up. But, we are getting there. It does seem sad to think that this program is where my child really fits. But, after our experience with him in a more mainstream type of program, mainstream just isn't for him. His needs are too great. Now, we are just hoping that the new district says the same as the previous one did. See, he can't go there without the district approval. We should find out something by Monday I would think. We were "advised" to stay in the previous district as long as we could-at least 5-8 days. We held out for ten days. Friday we took all of his paperwork to the new district including his 30+ page IEP from the Barber Inst. In it, they recommended he stay there. I am crossing my fingers.
We have also been getting Michael established in the local skating rink here. He has been taking more lessons since we first arrived. He is also signed up for spring hockey. Last week he told us he does not want to figure skate anymore, he wants to be a hockey goalie. That has been his dream since he first played that position last year. He has been begging us for goalie gear ever since. So, we managed to get him some used gear and he is ecstatic. He got his new helmet in yesterday (cause honestly, a used helmet is just gross!) and now we are just waiting on a goalie cup and pants (I think....)
We just got our furniture in last week and have spent this week getting everything unpacked. We are now in a two bedroom townhouse. Fortunately for us it does have a basement-so a lot of our stuff has ended up down there as there is just no room for it all. The boys are sharing a room again-which does not seem to bother them. After all, they have been living in a 26ft trailer for quite some time now, anything else seems like a palace!
That is just about everything. It is nice to be back!