Four of a Kind

Today my youngest girl turns 13. As I am about all my kids, I am so proud of her. She is having a great year at school, both academically and socially. She’s kind, loving, smart, a hard worker and loves life. Isn’t that what any parent wants for all their kids. So, Happy Birthday, my “little girl”.

This also starts a unique time in my life. For the next 9 months, until September 16th, I will be the father of FOUR teenagers. Yes, Tricia is 13. Kyle is 14 (15 in July), Alex is 17 and Misty is 19 (both until September). I’ve known this day was coming for awhile now, and it has finally arrived.

You might think I may have some words of wisdom concerning this event, but really, no. I feel I am still just learning how to parent teenagers. I often tell my two oldest that their kind of getting the raw end of the deal, as we are just learning with them how this works best. I think it’s good to be honest with your kids. They need to know your not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, and that you can make as many mistakes as they will. Mistakes are how you learn. If you come away a better parent (or student) because of them, then they were worth making.

So, I have seven more years to learn how to get this teen-parenting thing “right”. Prayers and well-wishes are coveted. I’m sure my kids would agree. šŸ™‚

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New Router

Four smartphones

Two tablets

Four laptops

One desktop

Two XBoxes

Two Roku TVs

And a Chromecast

Our old wireless router was struggling when we only had half as many devices. After Christmas it was about ready to give up the ghost. Videos buffering or just dropping out altogether. Long load times. The internet “rebooting” for no apparent reason. It was clear we needed a new router to handle the increased traffic. We HAVE a good ISP connection with Cox (though I found out it COULD be better — a story for another time), but our router was an older model when I bought it a few years ago. It just couldn’t push through that much data.

So, I did some research, some review reading and some shopping and decided on a model that was judged “Fastest router of the year” (in 2014), the Asus RT-AC68U. It’s dual band, so we can have ourĀ small devices on the regular 2.5Ghz band, and our gaming and streaming devices on the “wider” 5Ghz. I went and picked it up at Fry’s Electronics yesterday.

Besides the speed, it has a lot more management features and extra options than our last router did. At one point today we had 14 devices connected and no problems/complaints from anyone. Except when I reconfigured the Chromecast and it automatically switched the TVĀ to the Chromecast while Kyle was playing the XBox. He was like “Dad… what’s happening?” I swear I had no idea it would do that. LOL

Well Check

I had to take Kyle in for a “Well Check” yesterday morning. It’s required he have one every six months so that he can continue to receive his ADD medication.

The Doctor was pleased with hisĀ stats. Nearly perfectly average for height and weight. Eating well. Grades good. Medicine obviously doing it’s job of helping him focus. Thank goodness I can now get three months of prescriptions instead of having to drive in every month to pick one up. Also thanks to God that this medicine is covered but for a small co-pay. This medication has been SO important to both my boys who were both diagnosed with ADD early in childhood. It’s almost certain I had it to, but putting kids on medicine for “being boys” was pretty much frowned on back at that time, so I wasn’t diagnosed. Alex has since outgrown his need for the medication, which often happens during puberty. But Kyle will still benefit from it, at least for a few more years.

It’s amazing how a STIMULANTĀ of such a low dose actually stabilizes brain activity and allows a child to focus more readily. I’m fairly sure that Alex could have struggled through without it, but Kyle, who had not just ADD, but ADHD (hyperactivity) when he was first diagnosed probably would have had to be homeschooled since he could not deal with a classroom environment. He simply did whatever his brain told him to go do, no matter what anyone else was doing, which meant wandering around the class playing while everyone else was trying to listen to the teacher teach something. I often wonder if I was the same way. (I don’t remember that far back).

So, a few minutes at the doctor’s office, and prescriptions in hand, I took Kyle back to hisĀ 2nd day of his finalĀ semester of Middle School, where he is doing very well. He should have enough medication to finish out the school year once I am able to get them all filled. Another chore completed for me and a wonderful blessing secured for Kyle’s education. Productive day.