And as for Maura adjusting…

Maura, World Traveler
Maura, World Traveler


I realized I forgot to touch in on her (and I know she’s got that fan club that’s curious about how she’s doing…)

She is doing well and enjoying life.  There’s been a few minor meltdowns, and a new trick where she gets fed up and tries to leave the store we’re in (which I discovered in that shrieky Starbucks trip…it was “Oh, she got quiet”, look around, spot her slipping out the door quietly, as to not attract my attention, me getting very stern with her about how that is NOT a choice.)

I think this time around, she gets more.  She gets that the new house is the new house.  She’s picked out her room…which is actually supposed to be MY room, the master bedroom with attached master bath.  She’s picked out flowers to plant and points to the school she’ll be going to and says “My school!” – conveniently located practically around the corner from us.  She gets ridiculously excited every time she sees a big yellow school bus…which she probably won’t get to ride as we’re so close to the school.

When we moved to Dublin, after a week, Maura started dragging suitcases and asking about “home”.  This time around, she gets that this is now “home”, even if we’re in the temporary housing and float between it and the new house.  I’m not sure how she gets it, but I am glad she does get it.  Maura has always been pretty good with change, and this is really apparent right now.

We’ve had our moments – I realized in Dublin that big busy shopping centers can be too much for her.  Needless to say, just about every store here qualifies for that status.  Taking her to Bed, Bath and Beyond to look at shower curtains and bedding, then to Macy’s (where she decided she needed to be a princess and wanted to try on clothes), then to Target…well, there might have been some crying in the aisle in Target.  From her, not me.  Just to be clear.

We have also realized that Maura is gaining more independence, which is that two-way good/bad street.  In Dublin, our house was a mid-terrace house, so had the completely enclosed back garden with the six foot cement block wall and no way out except through the house (or over the wall, which was impossible.)   Right now we’re in a townhouse with a front and back door – of which Maura decided to let the dogs out of Saturday while Josh and I were out.  In one of our smarter moves, we had their tags updated before the move (in case they got misplaced in transit, they’d have a US number to call.)

So, cell phone rings.  “Hi, um, do you have an Australian Shepherd, kind of black and grey spotted coloring?”


Which led to Josh asking if the dog had a little friend with her….”No…oh, wait, there it is!  A Yorkie, right?”


Meanwhile, on my phone, I call Collin.  “The dogs are outside.”

Collin – “Oh crap!”

Why yes, I did buy those door chimes at Home Depot the other day, so I know when a door is opened in our new multi-doored house.  Not that she didn’t pull this in Dublin, which is why our front door had a bell on it there.  There were just less escape routes there.

And we have some sort of review/intake special ed meeting set up.  It was letters I didn’t understand, some M-thing that will help with placing her in the right spot.  I did confuse the special ed rep at our meeting, as she looked for an Irish IEP.  I left it as “It’s a little more laid back there when it comes to paperwork.”  I guess she couldn’t believe our few sheets of reviews and evaluations were it.  Seeing as her Irish counterparts were impressed with the huge bulk of paperwork I had from the States, I can see why what I presented didn’t seem like much.

I did have her last US evals/reports/IEPs to present, so she did end up with a nice bundle.

Now we just have to see if Maura will be mainstreamed or join the life skills program.  Honestly, I’m leaning towards life skills, because that’s what she’s been doing and it’s been brilliant.  The school around the corner does both, which is why we wanted that neighborhood, plotting parents that we are.

All in all, she’s doing well, our girl.  Pretty darned potty trained, pretty much happy-go-lucky, happy to have her family unit, puppies and all, together.  And all new Phineas and Ferb episodes to watch (okay, we’re all kind of happy about that one.)  Plus, mom keeps buying ice cream and she gets to sleep in every morning – what’s not to love?

Sun and McDonald's
Sun and McDonald’s