Archive for the school Category

Back to School With a Vengeance!

August 29, 2013

We’re just over a week into the new school year and it’s kicking it to me! I’m so out of the routine and there’s more to do this year. I have  3 drop-offs each morning. We’ve had 1 of 3 Back to School Nights (8th grade) and the other 2…yes, the other 2, are tomorrow night at different schools at the same time! I’ve had a meeting with Max’s teachers and principal and have retrieved a missing lunch box twice. We’ve had 2 popped bike tires and I’ve already forgotten to sign the planners. I spent a gazillion dollars on Back to School supplies, printer ink, shoes and groceries for packing lunches and I’ve already had to hear WAY too much whinning about getting up and ready for school.

Yep, it’s Back to School alright!

Doing the Dance of the Children into another Year of School~

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Lex’s V.I.G. Week-Good Stuff!

October 7, 2012

Lex is in 1st Grade. The school he goes to assigns an animal to each classroom. The kids then get t-shirts with that animal on it that they wear on Fridays and on field trips. Since Lex’s class is the Gorilla Class, they call the student of the week, the V.I.G. Lex was V.I.G. last week. I filled out the poster that was sent home, put together a few pictures and off he went to be in front of the line and be in charge of whatever classroom tasks the teacher assigns to the V.I.G. Then came Friday. That’s the day that we chose to send in a special treat and visit the classroom to read a story and answer questions about our family. Lex asked me to make Halloween “melts”-candy molds on pretzel sticks and to bring in a particular book.

On Thursday evening I got to work on the candy molds

These would soon turn into tasty rats, pumpkins, bats, skeletons and spiders


The Treats were then wrapped and ready for morning delivery


Delivering my V.I.G. to the classroom. What he didn’t know was that I wasn’t going to read a story. Instead, I had Clayton get ready to…


Juggle! WAY more exciting than mom reading a book! He juggled clubs and tennis balls and then brought Lex up and together they taught the class a song.


It was such Good Stuff! This is a day that Lex will always remember with pride and joy. It was really cool to see him have his big brother there to do something special for him. He definitely felt proud.


Then it was time to pass out the treats and finish up a little moment in time that will always be remembered.

Doing the Dance of the Children with Joy and Pride in my Kiddos~

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Life Isn’t Fair

August 20, 2012

It’s true! Life is just not fair. How can it be? Some people have some things available to them and others have different things available to them. It is just not reasonable to think that everyone will be afforded the same opportunities…even if they’re from the same family.

This is what I’ve been dealing with, mulling over, praying about and ultimately having to make a decision on. My kids each have their own talents, personalities, strengths and weaknesses and over the years, I’ve had to make very individualized decisions for each of them. At one point I had to make the decision to keep one of the kids home for a year and 1/2 so that we could find out what it was that just wasn’t working for them in school, where the holes were in their education and understanding, and how to fill those holes to help my child become a better and more solid learner. This decision has ultimately created a stronger, more confident student, person and athlete. I’ve had to decide whether or not to allow one of the children to participate in their school’s, optional, 2-year Kindergarten program. The kiddo was academically solid, but still had plenty of classroom wiggles that needed to be worked out before they could become a successful (in the opinion of me and the kindergarten staff) 1st grader. That child did the 2 years and has been a completely solid, and self-motivated student, ever since. I’ve also had to make the decision to allow a child to be moved forward a grade. They were so bright and motivated that they were truly working, consistently at a level beyond their grade and classmates. This child has gone on to a fantastic school career and is helping unlock fantastic things for themselves and businesses that they’re working for. I had to make the decision to send my 14 year old son to a boarding school, far away from home (at his request, mind you) to see if there was something that would better feed his mind and spirit. It was a tough decision, but it created a strong young man who is self sufficient and driven in all aspects of his life. None of these decisions would have worked well for any of my other children. They had to be completely based on the individual that was being focused on.

I have recently had to make another such decision.

Last year, when we moved, most of the kids settled into their schools. They made new friends, played sports and pushed forward in their new environment. But one of the kids had a harder time than the others. They tried sports and tried being social, but it just never clicked and I had an unhappy kiddo, all year long. So I made them a promise. I promised that I would seek out other schooling solutions and that they wouldn’t have to return to that school when the new school year came around. And I kept up my end of the bargain. I asked questions of people. I searched the internet. We went and toured a boarding school. I looked into a local Catholic school. Nothing was the right fit. Then the offer was made. The offer by family friends to have that child live with them and go back to their school in San Diego. I immediately felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders but at the same time, I knew is was going to be a sore subject with the other siblings. Why was this child able to do what they ultimately all wanted to do? I wrestled with the ramifications of allowing one child to leave home, live with another family, live a life that I could NEVER offer to them and be able to get the education that was worked so hard for in the years before we faced retirement and divorce. The door was being opened to this beautiful opportunity, but only for the one.

After much conversation, prayer and thought, the decision was made to say yes!

Today, Maddi starts back at Cathedral Catholic H.S. The very place that 2 of her sisters have graduated from and that she and Anna spent their Freshman year. When we left San Diego one of the saddest things for me was giving up the level of education that my children had been receiving in the private, Catholic schools there. Their dad and I had made many sacrifices to give them the opportunity to have the very best education we could find. There is nothing in our new area that comes close. I can’t change that and I can’t change where I live. If I were able to move back to San Diego and continue giving my children what we all had, I would. But that’s just not a possibility. But just because all of the kids can’t go back doesn’t mean I shouldn’t allow the one who’s being given the chance, to take it. Yes, this has left siblings unhappy. I am sorry for that. I really am! But just as decisions have been made for others on an individual basis, I have to look at this individual and allow for her growth.

This summer before she left

2 years ago with her sisters at CCHS

A very tough decision!

Congratulations to Maddi on her first day back! We will be praying for you and expecting you to work hard and make the most of this opportunity. And most of all, you will be missed. It’s never easy to send one of the kids away, no matter how great it is for them.

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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The Last Days of Summer

August 17, 2012

Here we are, in the final days before Back to School. It’s been a busy week with lots of talk about new teachers, new classrooms and new schools. Tristan will start Middle School and is excited for the change. Max will be at school with Gabi and Lex and isn’t so excited for the change :-( (Must say that breaking the news over sushi really did soften the blow!)

We’re trying to make the most of our last bit of summertime, without doing anything extravagant. We loaded up with and headed out for a day at Tahoe with friends. It took us a while to find a place to set up and stay for the day, but once we found parking, the day was fantastic!

The kids had a great time!

These two were buddies all day! Gabi likes to be the “big” girl!

Tristan has moved into the role of Big Kid and does a fantastic job with the lil ones!

All the boys

The other day I took the kids grocery shopping and Max noticed that coconuts were on sale. This is exactly the kind of thing that Max would notice! So we bought a coconut and Google-searched how to open it. Ours had quite a bit of water in it!

Then I took the hammer to it and was surprised at how easily some of the meat had split from the skin. Upon further examination, we realized it was because it was rotten. So much for our coconut! At least the kids had fun watching me pound a screwdriver into the eyes and then hit it with a hammer!

Something new for the kids to explore!

People always say things to me like, “I bet you can’t wait for school to start!”. But the truth is, I love summer and all the school breaks. I love to have the kids home and for us to be on our own schedule. It’s far more difficult for me to keep us all on the schedule that school demands, than to have the kids home. ~Sigh~

But in a few days, I’ll change my alarm back to 4:30am and start waking kids up at 6am and we’ll conform to the rigorous demands of what school brings.

For the next few days, I’ll be Doing the Dance on our time and enjoying every minute of it!

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“Geek Day”-You’ve Got To Be Kidding!

February 10, 2012

After school today Gabi let me know that next week is going to be a Spirit Week. She started listing off the days and what she would be wearing. She got to Geek Day. “Geek Day? What the heck is Geek Day?”. I couldn’t help but be shocked. She explained that the purpose of it is to help the kids understand that no one is better than anyone else and it’s ok to be a geek.

Really?! Who’s bright idea was this?! You know exactly what’s going to happen-there’s going to be that one, poor kid who some group of “cool” kids (probably girls) despise and someone will think it’s funny to dress like them, instead of just in random geek fashion but they’ll be able to hide it under the guise of geekishness on Geek Day!

I know I’m jumping to conclusions, but it struck a cord in me! I was that kid in grade school. I had a HORRIBLE time for several years. I was picked on and made fun of and Geek Day would have scared me to death. I would have known I couldn’t win. If I dressed like a “geek” there would have been the cruel taunts of why was I bothering to dress up when I was dressed like a geek everyday and if I didn’t dress up, I would’ve had to hear about how what I chose was perfect to reflect the day. Yes, it was awful going through grade school. It damaged me in so many ways. High school was better, but I was already so dang damaged from all the years of not being able to win that it really didn’t matter if anyone gave me praise or if I had friends. Inside, I was never, NEVER going to be good enough. My clothes and hair, the way I spoke, the decisions I made, they were never going to be right. Ick! That stuff is really, REALLY, REALLY hard to break out of. I can honestly say that I have never been totally successful in burning the old tapes that play through my head, from my youth. Yes, I’ve overcome much, but the damage done to a young person’s self-esteem is tremendous.

So now I’m faced with my kids, who are not picked on, who don’t feel threatened, having Geek Day. All I can think of is that poor kiddo who’s dreading Monday coming around and I’ve decided that whoever set up Geek Day as part of Spirit Week has no clue what that poor kiddo is thinking.

Doing the Dance of the Children and Feelin It~

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An Excellent Idea For ALL Kids

August 25, 2011

I LOVE this!!!!

Max came home on the 1st day of school and told me about this system in his classroom. His teacher also explained it to me and let me know that Max was already using the “Compliment Card” and the “Breaking News!” forms. In the last couple of days Max has received Compliment Cards from classmates. He’s LOVING this! Even better are the Breaking News! forms, because it enables a kiddo like Max, who has a really tough time NOT speaking his mind the very moment an idea or story pops into his head, to jot down what he has to say and to feel confident that when the teacher or parent who gets the form, has time, they will give it proper attention.

Max’s teacher let me know that he promptly grabbed a stack of each form, to be ready for when he would need them. Today he brought some home so I could utilize this great system at home.

The third form is “Tattling Turtle” and is to be used when a child feels upset about something or is having a problem with someone or something. GREAT! Now, if I can make a zillion copies, wallpaper the walls of my home in them, hand each kiddo a pencil and listen to their closed mouths and scribbling pencils! If only~

Seriously, I love the idea of this program for all kids, not just my super verbal, “I’ve got an idea”, Asperger’s kiddo. I hope he uses the forms at school AND at home and I’m open to my other kiddos using them too!

Here’s to great ideas that bring the hope of a little peace in the home and classroom!

Doing the Dance of the Children and Always Searching for a Better Way~

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Running Against the Clock With Time to Spare~

August 23, 2011

In my life-long quest to never be late, I am often accused of being anxious about time. This would be true!

When I was growing up, we were late to EVERYTHING. My mom did not and does not think schedules are important and I often heard her say things to the effect of, “I have 9 children…”. Even before I had 9 children of my own, I was determined to be on time or early to everything. I’ve done a fairly good job of making that happen, but in the process, I’ve made my kids hate me in the mornings. I am always budgeting the minutes in each day and dolling them out in a miserly fashion. One of my children has picked up this trait and he watches time to the very minute. I appreciate this!

This morning was the first day of me getting all the kids to all their schools. Until now, the girls have had a morning carpool. They will continue to get rides 2 days a week, but today was all me. Last night I let all the kids know that we needed to leave at 7 on the dot. This morning I woke each of them to, “Good morning. it’s time to get up and get going. We need to leave right at 7.” I probably reminded them of the 7:00 leaving time another 3 times before 7:00 actually got here. Overkill? Yeah, probably, but it’s what I do. So, 7 rolls around, Gabi doesn’t have her shoes on, Max is playing with Legos and Lex is building a marble track. My heart started racing, my tone completely changed and I started hustling everyone through what they still needed to do. We were in the van at 7:06. Completely unacceptable by my OCD standards. I gave them the speech about the importance of being on time and that I gave them ample notice of the morning’s schedule. We drove over to the high school, dropped the girls where they asked and drove away. I looked at the clock-7:14. I started thinking, “Wow! That didn’t take long at all!” (my girls used to go to school 15 miles away from our house and I’d have to drive them to school and then get the other kids to school and myself to work by 8am. I tell you this to give you a lil insight into where my mind was). Then I started driving toward Max’s school. I knew that there were 15 minutes before the earliest time he could be dropped off. I knew it wasn’t going to take me 15 minutes to get there. Hmmm…. So we drove to the school and toured the neighborhood. I announced that we had 10 minutes before Max could be dropped off. Lex piped up, “Mom, if we have 10 minutes then you got mad about nothing this morning”. ~Sigh~ Leave it to the 5 yr old to hand you a bag full of truth. I said, “Yes, I’m sorry. I didn’t know we’d have so much time. I’m sorry I got upset. You all did fine”. Lex replied, “It’s ok. It was just nothing”. I dropped Max off, drove over to the other school, parked, tied Gabi’s shoes, walked Gabi to class, met a mom who’s daughter is in Gabi’s class, walked Lex to class, kissed him goodbye and drove away. All with time to spare.

Live and learn!

Doing the Dance of the Children and Watching the Clock~

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This Week Held A Lot-School/Travel/Court/Camping and More

August 21, 2011

What a week! Everyday of this life as M.O.M. keeps me Doing the Dance of the Children, but with the start of school, this week held extra Dancing. The first day of school went as smoothly as we could expect when living in an area for only a week and juggling 2 elementary schools that are on the same bell schedule. I got Tristan, Gabi and Lex to their school and Max and I waited outside the classroom with Lex until the teacher came out. All the other parents were full of a mix of emotions. You could see the pride, excitement and that twinge of sadness as their lil ones headed to the line for their first day of being a “big” kindergartener. Me? Well I was anxious for her to hurry up and open the dang door already so I could get Max over to his school on HIS 1st day and not have him be late. Yes, I took pictures, hugged my lil guy and told him what a great time he was going to have, but I was toe-tapping for the moment I could dash out of there. Sure enough, I got Max to his school and everyone was already seated at their desks. ~Sigh~ His teacher knows that I’m single-parenting and juggling 2 elementary schools, so she’s forgiving. Thank goodness!


1st Day 2011-Lex Kinder, Gabi 1st, Max 3rd, Tristan 6th


Lex on his 1st day of Kinder. My lil guy’s a big boy!


Gabi on her 1st day of 1st grade. Beauty!


Lex in front of his classroom, pointing to his name

I have to add that Max is also very forgiving. I was worried when I had to tell him that he was going to be in a separate school from his siblings. But I think the key to having him be ok is giving him as much information as possible and presenting it in a positive way. His teacher seems GREAT! She called me after the 1st day to give me a rundown on how Max did and what she observed. We discussed his particular needs, strengths and challenges. She seems compassionate to his needs and determined to help him have a successful year. I couldn’t ask for more. So far, he seems happy. He has expressed that he wishes he knew more kids, but I know that will come. There have only been 3 days of school, these things take time!

The other kids seem ok too. Lex is happy with his teacher and class. He’s a really easy-going kid and he plays easily with other kids, so I don’t doubt that he’ll make friends quickly and be a happy kindergartener. Gabi says that kindergarten was harder than 1st grade. We’ll see how she feels in a few weeks, but I do know that the curriculum and expectations were more rigorous at the last school. I have mixed feeling about that. Wait, that’s not the truth. The truth is that I’m sad that I can’t give the kids the level of education they’ve become used to. But I can’t beat myself up over it. Even if we stayed in San Diego and even if I wasn’t getting divorced, that education could no longer be afforded. So I have to accept this change and trust that the kids will be ok. At this time it’s all I can do. If things change in the future, I’ll revisit the subject.

That brings me to the 2nd day of school. THAT was a juggling act! I had to leave the night of the 1st day of school so that I could be in San Diego for our settlement hearing the next day. We had come to an agreement the night before, but the trip still had to be taken because papers had to be signed and an appearance still had to be made. I chose to live in this area for many reasons. I didn’t choose this lightly. I weighed cost of living, schools and the fact that I would have a ready-made support system of friends and family in place. That support system proved itself this week! My sister came to stay with the kids overnight and then got them to school the next day. Then my friend, Jen (who has been more than any friend could be expected to be over these last 6 weeks) came to do the pick ups. Once the older girls were home from school (btw-we’ve been plugged into a carpool by a great group of ladies who have stepped up to help me have a little time to get settled. A friend from high school happens to have a high schooler at my girls’ school AND lives in my new neighborhood. She got us set up with a carpool and also walked baked goods over…YES! THAT is Good Stuff!), they took over for the evening and I flew back in late that night. Whew! Doing the Dance for sure!

While I was in San Diego I managed to see several people, get all the important paperwork done, appear in court, run errands and meet up at Costa Brava with friends before heading to the airport. Have I ever mentioned how much I love Costa Brava? No? :-) It was great to pop in for a little while, enjoy some tapas, sangria and wine and be treated to a round of creme brulee shots and my favorite dessert…I’d tell you what it is, but I have NO idea how to spell it. It’s vanilla ice cream with a burnt top, like creme brulee and it sits on a bed of sliced strawberries. YUM! That restaurant is so warm and welcoming! It always feels like a home away from home and the food is Mmmmm! So good! If you haven’t gone, you should!


Great ladies and our round of creme brulee shots


Enjoying that dessert!

I got home late, picked up the house (it’s amazing what 6 kids can do to a place when left alone for the after-school/dinner/bedtime hours) set my alarm for 4:15 and went to bed.

The kiddos were happy to wake up and find me there and ready to get the routine rolling. I made lunches, signed papers and heard all about the girls’ high school classes. Then it was off to school and time for this M.O.M. to tackle more of this house. The kids headed off for a weekend camping trip with their dad and my brother and I tried to get my head around what tasks I should complete while I have no little ones demanding my attention. But first, I went and played Bunco! I’ve been invited to join a group and was happy to get into something social. In the last 2 years, I had really pulled away from all the social activities I was used to being a part of. I’m enjoying jumping in again!

Everything is coming along nicely. We’re settling in and I’m hoping it all starts to feel homey and “regular” soon. I’m EVER grateful to all the wonderful people who have made this transition as smooth as possible. I truly couldn’t ask for better people in my life.

So, I’ve stocked the kitchen, unpacked more boxes, hung more decor and am preparing for a load of dirty, stinky, tired kiddos to arrive at sometime tomorrow. It’ll be my job to clean them up, wash the dirty clothes and convince them to go to bed to be ready for school on Monday morning. Wish me luck!

Doing the Dance of the Children and Grateful For The Music~

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The Night Before School Starts!

August 17, 2011

Normally the night before the 1st day of school is full of nervous butterflies, back packs lined up, clothes folded and waiting at the end of the bed, etc. Not this one! The day’s been so full and at 10pm we are just finally home from soccer, dinner with friends, picking Maddi up from her flight from San Diego and getting soccer carpool home. There are no carefully planned outfits ready and waiting and no new back packs full of new school supplies. Tristan and Gabi will be using their back packs from last year, Lex isn’t allowed to bring one and Max will be needing a new one. The school supply shopping will have to wait until this weekend and I’ll think about the lunches at 4am. Tonight will be used to finish filling out the paperwork that Lex’s teacher sent home with me from our meeting this morning. Yep, I’m going to be THAT mom, you know-the one with the excuses for why my kids won’t be ready until next week. Ugh! There’s really nothing I can do about it.

I took Lex to meet his teacher this morning. She seems like just the right kind of Kindergarten teacher. He felt very at ease and is excited to be in the “Dinosaur” class. It seems that the schools around here assign animals to the classrooms. I don’t know what Gabi or Tristan will be, but Max (who’s at a separate elementary school from the other 3 kids :-( ) will be a “Gator”. He and I went to his school and met with his teacher today. She was really great. I gave her a quick overview of Max, who he is and what to expect of and from him. She gave me a hug and told me she promised to love him. A strange, but welcome response. I do think it’s going to be ok. I really do. Why think of it any other way? I did everything I could to get everyone in the same school and no matter what, Max ended up elsewhere. I have to decide that this is a piece in the Big Puzzle of Our Lives that I just don’t have the picture on the box for. So…tomorrow morning the Dance of the Children will, once again, be done with a wake up time of 4am, a crock pot meal prepared, lunches lined up on the counter and dashing out the door around 7am. No problem! We’ve got this!

Now to digest the fact that my baby, my last lil guy, is off to Kindergarten. He’s totally ready and I can’t really say I’m not. It’s so good for him to be in the structured environment of school and here, as opposed to San Diego, Kindergarten is 1/2 day. He’ll go till noon until after Thanksgiving. Then they modify the day and he’ll get out at 1:20. It’s going to make for a year of juggling and Dancing, but again…I got it!

Now to spread out all this paperwork and get it done!

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Letting Go of “Normal”

March 24, 2011

Normal-it’s what we all strive for. It’s what we’re “supposed” to be. It’s all the people around us-or so we perceive. Normal is what my kids said today’s lunches were, because I included cheese puffs (never mind that they were wheat free, gluten free, contain no corn syrup or msg) and trail mix.

Normal-we all think it’s pretty important.

Well, it’s what I’m needing to let go of. I chuckle at myself for even saying that because, really, when have I EVER been “normal”? I’m the oldest of 9 children, I was a single, teen mom and have gone on to have a grand total of 9 children of my own. None of that fits society’s views of “normal”.

But surely my kids are normal. They’re all good-looking, read just fine, present themselves in a “normal” fashion when out-and-about, play sports and go to private schools where, if anything, everyone is normal or above normal. Geesh! Normal is certainly what my kids are.

Yeah right! As I’m being forced into clearer vision and thinking, I realize that my kids have always been slightly outside the societal norm. My oldest has chosen to pursue all of her higher education in faith-based schools-certainly not the norm for most. My oldest son struggled mightily with what “normal” was supposed to be. He always had strong ideas on what was right and what was wrong and that you should always be choosing to do what was right. I look back, with a heavy heart when I think of a note he wrote in 6th grade, telling his father and I that he was grateful for the Catholic education he was receiving, but that he was really having a very hard time with not having any friends. We encouraged him and pushed him through. He struggled with grades because of poor handwriting and downward-spiraling self esteem. He became angry and aggressive. And then God stepped in and introduced us to the right environment and peer group for him and within a few months he became happy, full of life and by all means, “normal” once again. Hmmm, environment changed everything. Changing our perception of where he “should” be or what sports he “should” be playing and trusting that we couldn’t provide all the answers, changed his whole life.

I could go on down the line, describing each of my children and the ways in which I perceive them as “normal” and the ways in which they are so much more than that. But really, I now need to focus on my 7th child. My 8yr old son.

I look back to bringing him home after his birth and how sensitive he was to all his environmental stimuli. He was coming to a home with 6 older siblings. 6 boisterous, outspoken and noisy siblings and this didn’t work well for him. Every time someone yelled or ran through the house with happy screeches, he would shake and cry. He couldn’t sit in the baby swing. The movement seemed to terrify him. TERRIFY! He only slept if he was directly on me or swaddled in my blanket or clothing (I learned to cover him in things that smelled of me). I asked questions of people I knew who worked in special education or had children with challenges of their own. But little by little we all seemed to develop coping mechanisms. I noticed that he started to become noisy if everything around him was noisy. I learned to tell him to look me in the eye when I was giving him directions and to have him repeat what I’d said. I learned to assign a number to each task and ask him to go through the numbers. I learned that riding a bike was frightening for him but that he could ride a scooter like nobody’s business. I learned that his fine-motor skills were low for his age and we stopped trying to buy shoes with laces. So, we learned to try to make it through each day with a minimum of challenge. But not everyone is his mom and not everyone is so accommodating or patient (I use “patient” loosely when describing myself) and he started to have real challenges in the classroom last year. He couldn’t grasp the concept of getting things done in a certain timeframe. His thoughts on any given subject were too big for the classroom discussions and he just can’t NOT say what’s going through his head. So he became frustrated at not completing things on time and with the fact that he has poor handwriting and he just decided to give up on doing the work all together. He started hiding his work or destroying it. This meant that his grades plummeted and he was put on academic probation. ~sigh~ It was just a downward spiral. Then he started 2nd grade. New teacher, new year. And she worked REALLY REALLY hard with him. We kept our communication open and discussed various ways to help him function within the classroom setting and finally we discussed getting him into counseling so that he could have better tools to draw from to perform successfully. His grades have been up. He’s not hiding work. Both the teacher and I, realized that he is more than capable with any of the work placed before him.  All in all, it’s a better year. But through the open communication between teacher, parent and counselor, it was suggested (strongly) that he be tested for Asperger’s. While I wasn’t totally surprised, I was challenged. I cried for 3 days. Not for myself, but for my child who possibly needed something more, something different and had been pushed through with the hope that he would finally “get it”. I spoke with a couple people and then had the testing scheduled.

We don’t have a full report back yet, but I’ve been given a partial report and he seems to fall, quite solidly, in the spectrum for Asperger’s. Yesterday I was told that according to the tests, he has an IQ of 156 (I placed a link here because until yesterday, I didn’t know what any IQ scores meant and am betting that most people are in the same boat I was) and that it’s suggested that he be placed in a more challenging school environment. This is where I have to fall back on what I learned with my older son (who was never tested for an “disorders” and has no diagnosis of any) about trusting that environment makes all the difference and where I have to let go of “normal”. I want what’s best for each of my kids. But I’m also having a tough time letting go. I will continue to read, research, talk and learn and I will continue to be human and fight my own ideas of “normal”. And, you can bet I’ll be talking about the whole thing as it unfolds.

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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Fun In Preschool with Rainbows-Skittle Count (count & taste the rainbow)

March 17, 2011

March is all about rainbows, the beginning of spring and leprechauns.

Here’s a fun way to review the #’s you’ve already learned.

Give each child a 1/2 Dixie sized cup of Skittles and a paper plate

Have them gently pour the cup out, onto the plate

Have the kids separate the Skittles into piles of each color and then ask them to count one color at a time, moving through the colors of the rainbow. We found that using 1/2 a cup was a good amount because they were familiar with those #’s. Any more than that was confusing for them (we did this 2 days in a row, as with all of our projects, and on day 1 we filled the cups and it didn’t work well). The BEST was when we got to Blue. There are no blue Skittles in a regular pack of Skittles, so it was a great lesson in “0″ and “none”.

We went around the class through each of the colors, charted the kids’ answers and then totaled each child’s Skittles. We then talked about less and more and left the chart up for a couple of days.

Doing the Dance of the Children~

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The Leprechauns Came to Preschool

March 16, 2011

In preschool we get to celebrate everything twice-once for the kiddos who come on M-W-F and again for the kiddos who come on T-Th. So today we got to celebrate St. Patty’s Day a day early and the Leprechauns didn’t disappoint.

Wee footprints were left on the tables and along the floor.

The kiddos brought in their homemade Leprechaun Traps. So cute!

We didn’t catch any leprechauns, but we DID get some tasty treats. We will try again tomorrow!

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Holy Mackerel M.O.M! Write Something Already!

September 14, 2010

I can’t! I’m too tired!

I’m not acclimated to the schedule yet and it’s completely draining me.

Overview-

4:15am-wake up, check email, FB, my website and twitter
4:45am-make coffee, switch laundry, think about packing lunches or finishing packing lunches from whatever I laid out last night
5:00am-wake the 3 high schoolers
5:01am-RUN FOR THE SHOWER before one of the girls get to it!
5:30am-wake the 4 “lil” kids, finish lunches, iron clothes, find shoes, make sure kiddos are eating breakfast
6:00am-dry hair, check kiddos uniforms, make sure the lil ones have shoes and socks and aren’t eating the lunches I’ve packed.
6:30am-call the 4 lil ones in to get their hair fixed and make sure they’ve brushed their teeth. Start barking orders; “do you have your back pack?” “is your folder in your back pack?” “Do I need to sign anything?” “Does Luke-Xavier have his shoes on?”
7:00am-everyone loaded, lunches and back packs in hand, pull away from the curb
7:20am-drop high schoolers off
7:40am-arrive at school/work
12:15-leave work w/ Luke-Xavier in tow and hope everything will work out at the Y…finally!
1:50-leave the Y, drive to high school, p/u high schoolers
2:45-p/u the other kids
3:15-snack, chores, homework, errands
4:30-start asking the question;”is your homework done?” “If your homework isn’t done, why are you on the computer?!”
5:30/6ish-Serve dinner
7:30-start bedtime routine; pjs, teeth brushed, prayers, story, drinks of water, covering kiddos up 3x, etc.
8:30-deciding whether to do any of the 3 million things I’ve left undone or call it a wash, set the alarm and go to bed
9:00-wondering why the heck I thought I could do anything or put together a coherent sentence and climb into bed

There you go!

Doing the Dance of the Children and Wishing the Sandman wasn’t Looming~

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First Week Back to School & Work-Done!

September 11, 2010

What a week! We jumped back into the routine on Tuesday with a 1/2 day of school and a pool party afterward. Everyone did a GREAT job of getting up and getting going. Gabi was SUPER excited to put on her uniform and new shoes and become a kindergartner. I was really proud of everyone, all week, for getting going and out the door at 7. We have to leave by 7 so I can get the girls up to the high school and still get the rest of us back to the other school. So far, so good!

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Lex-4yr preschool, Max-2nd gr, Gabi-kinder, Tristan-5th gr

I got into the classroom and it quickly felt like we’d only had a long weekend and not a whole summer off. The routine fell together nicely and my brain kicked in to remember each new kiddo’s name and what parents go with what child. I think it’s gonna be a great year! A lot of the kiddos already know each other and everyone’s been happy to sit down and begin their curriculum and art projects.

We began with A and apples and Allie made the most adorable apple cupcakes ever. Which reminded me that I’m going to need to bring my own food and remember to pack my workout gear each day. The big plan is to be packed and ready to go to the Y after work each day. Thursday was the 1st full day, so I packed up and as soon as work was over I grabbed Lex and we went to the Y. He kicked and cried the whole way (literally). I got him checked in (crying and all), I changed, stretched, found out how to use the treadmill and then they came to get me. Ugh! He’d thrown a fit and cried and finally propped himself against the wall and was standing up, asleep, when I got there. So I came home and got 3 rounds of 4 exercises in before it was time to pick up the other kids. Yesterday I packed up and was all ready (to Lex’s dismay) but had to make it to the bank before 2, which meant I couldn’t make the Y. I only have a little sliver of a window of time to get the workout in. I get off at 12:15, have to drive over, check him into the playcare, change, workout and get back to pick him up by 2, when they close the playcare for their break. So by the time I’m there and ready to workout, I have 45 minutes to an hour, which is perfect, but if anything else needs to be done after work, I’m outta luck! So…I try again on Monday.

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Look at his, “I don’t wanna do it and I’m so sleepy” attitude

My crock pot has been humming along all week and so far, so good! I’ve got to remember that this whole schedule takes dedication or it all falls apart and kids don’t get their homework done, the uniforms don’t get cleaned and we eat PBnJ for dinner. Trying to pace myself, keep positive and make it happen!

Doing the Dance of the Children and Remembering the Dance Steps~

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Last Day of Our Summer

September 7, 2010

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It’s the night filled with jitters. Remember? The night before you went back to school. You were always wondering which of your friends (or enemies) was going to end up in your class. Your new shoes, backpack, lunch box and school supplies were neatly packed and you could hardly get to sleep.

That’s what we’re going through here. All the kid’s uniforms are put together in their rooms and there was much excitement (and dread) before bedtime. I know Gabi’s going to do great! She’s so excited about starting kindergarten. She’s on the older end of the age curve (she’ll be 6 in October), so I think she’s more “ready” than some of my kids were who started younger. Max is already grumbling and griping and Tristan’s excited to see his friends and be on the other side of the school (5th-8th is on the backside of the school and going to 5th grade makes you a “big kid”). Lex asked to sleep in my bed and went right to sleep. I think he can take it or leave it, but will enjoy being back in a structured environment.

I have things laid out on the kitchen counter and a list of what I need to do when I wake up. My clothes are also laid out and I think I’m ready. Until we get into the groove of the routine, I’m going to need to get things laid out each night.

I started my last day of summer with a great workout at the 6am Kraze Boot Camps class. I honestly think this helped me from getting too stressed out about all that needed to happen today. One of the things I’ve seen CLEARLY about myself, since beginning to workout, is that my stress level stays much lower if I get a good workout in. And since my life is pretty stress-filled, I am going to have to stay organized and make sure I get my workouts in. Life will be much easier for me and everyone around me if I make it a priority!

Now, to take my vitamin, drink some water, walk through the house turning off lights and get to bed.

Good night Summer. You were much too short. Tomorrow I begin Doing the Dance of the Children with the added Dance steps of school and work. Music please~

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