Tuesday, August 31, 2010

all right, THAT'S IT. i just read my best friend's blog post, and she looks amazing. i am working out and paying closer attention to weight watchers, RIGHT NOW. DAMNIT.

phew. micah got upset this morning because josh took her to school. he had to; it was his morning for crossing guard duty. they arrived at 7:30, and micah needed to go sit in the cafeteria but wouldn't. josh said a teacher helped her, but she was crying. he felt so badly. crossing guard duty went well (it was his first day, half training and half experience). it's my turn tomorrow, and i'm a little nervous. micah was in a grouchy mood when she got home, and told me that she cried at lunch because she had to get a tray. this slightly irritated me, A) because she wouldn't give me any information as to WHY her reaction to getting a hot meal at lunch was to CRY, and B) before school began all she could TALK about was how much fun it was going to be to get a tray at lunch. that's what she calls eating the school lunch, "getting a tray." i think at pre-school last year she saw the kids eating breakfast in the cafeteria and thought it looked neat. anyway, i finally got it out of her that she was all bent out of shape over getting a tray because she'd never done it before, and was nervous. so she tried to eat the little bag of graham cracker cookies josh had tried to get her to eat for breakfast, which were still in her backpack, but mrs. barrett wouldn't let her. i'm sure that mrs. barrett thought to herself, "her parents paid for a hot meal, so she probably shouldn't eat this bag of cookies instead of her lunch." micah was hurt that she couldn't eat her cookies; she told me at home, "i should be able to eat whatever i want for lunch! it's not up to mrs. barrett what i eat!" i cannot express how much i love micah's... i don't even know what to call it anymore. FIRE. anyway, i explained that mrs. barrett was looking out for her and doing what she thought was best, and didn't intend to offend micah or hurt her feelings. i think she understood.

Monday, August 30, 2010

i realized yesterday that even though i'm not homeschooling, the opportunities to teach my children at home are endless. last night we had an impromtu science lesson during our bath. i taught the kids about volume, by demonstrating the displacement of water when i got into the tub. then i taught them about gravity, and how an object's weight changes how it's affected by gravity. i demonstrated this by dropping different bath toys into the water, and observing which ones floated and which ones sank. we talked about the meanings of the words "observe" and "predict".

it was amazing today, the difference between rowan's behavior at the hearing test and the way micah would've behaved in the same situation at that age. he was so calm and comfortable, not alarmed in any way by being in an unfamiliar place. had i not followed him into the sound booth for the test, he easily would've gone in there without me. i think lots of things are going to be a whole lot easier with him.
i was expecting this morning to be rough for micah, because of the two-day break, but she did FANTASTIC!! she woke up in a good mood (although i couldn't get her to eat one bite of breakfast), chatted with me on the way to school, and did not say "i don't want to go to school", which she has said once every morning so far (although usually with a sheepish grin on her face, as if she's just saying it to see what my response will be). we arrived at school just after mrs. barrett had come to the cafeteria to pick up her class, so for a moment i wasn't sure how micah was going to get to class. i can't walk her there anymore, and there weren't any teachers hovering around to help. i asked micah if she thought she could get to her class by herself, and she shook her head, but... a moment later, a first grade teacher walked by, noticed our predicament, and said to micah, "honey, if you'll just follow those kids down that hallway right there, you'll find your class." and somehow micah believed her, and she let go of my hand and just started walking. it was perfect! she did stop after a few steps, turn around, and look a little lost, but i had hidden behind a door by then so she couldn't see me. i watched her stand there for a few seconds, then give up on anyone coming to her rescue and start walking to her classroom. i was so happy and proud!! and the whole time, she was not upset or scared or near tears; she was just a little unsure. i could FEEL her gaining confidence in herself. i think when she gets home today, i'll talk to her about arriving at school a little earlier and waiting in the cafeteria for mrs. barrett. i think that would be a little easier for her.

rowan has backtracked on potty training a little, but that's okay. he's not even three yet; i'm in no rush. last week he started telling me he didn't know how to use the potty, and he wanted diapers again. i think it was starting to bug him how often he had to stop playing and go to the bathroom. :) he won't let me put underpants on him anymore, but he will use the potty at home if he's naked (which he usually is). i took him to the Harris Hill GISD building this afternoon for a hearing test. when he first had his speech therapy evaluation here at home, they gave him a paper test, but this was a more in-depth screening. they had us sit in a sound booth and listen to sounds through headphones. he did wonderfully; he gave them his full cooperation, and passed the screening with flying colors. he has excellent hearing. the two people who administered the test told me the kids rowan's age who come in for testing are usually not as high-functioning as he was; they joked that he probably could've given himself the test. it made me feel good, and a little silly. if rowan doesn't qualify for services through the school district (and at this point, from what i've heard, i don't expect him to), i don't think we'll pursue private services. i feel like his articulation is becoming more and more clear every day, and the breakdown in his artic during connected speech, i'm told, is very normal and common for his age. SO - we may be nearing the end of his therapy, for now. i think, since he has a fall birthday and won't start kindergarten until 2013, we will wait until around his 5th birthday to see if we still have any concerns.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

micah survived her first week of kindergarten with no bumps, bruises or hurt feelings. i think she likes it! i'm excited for "meet the teacher" night the week after next. and i can't wait to start eating lunch with her.

josh and i have found a free, local yoga class. there's a coffee shop on the square in downtown garland, five minutes from our house, called the generator. on monday mornings and wednesday evenings, a certified yoga instructor (who happens to be a friend of josh's) gives free classes. the one on monday mornings is for parents and kids; kids are welcome to the wednesday evening one too, it's just geared more towards adults. josh and the kids and i checked out the wednesday evening one earlier this week, but when we got there with micah and rowan in tow, we discovered they actually hold the class outside, on the plaza in front of the shop. there's a huge sunken pond in the middle of the plaza, and we knew immediately we wouldn't be able to participate in the class. micah would've done fine, but rowan would've made a beeline for that water. not to mention the fact that the plaza is surrounded on all four sides buy... downtown garland traffic. josh and i are going to take rowan and lina to the monday morning class next week, and we're going to swap turns taking micah to the wednesday evening class. it goes from 7pm to 8pm (even though the website says 8 to 9; they've changed the time but haven't updated the site), so we'd still be able to get her into bed at a somewhat decent time on a school night.

speaking of bedtime on a school night, we've been doing a pretty good job of keeping everyone here on a schedule. here's how our days go now:

7:00AM - wake up

7:15 - eat breakfast, get dressed

7:40 - i take micah to school

8:00 - christian drops lina off at our house

from here, it changes every day... sometimes we just do stuff at home, sometimes josh goes and runs errands, sometimes i do - having him home has really been great.

2:50PM - one of us (usually josh) either drives or bikes to micah's school to pick her up. she's released at 3:10, but it helps to get there a bit early.

3:20 - freetime around the house; sometimes we go out or to a friend's house, sometimes i take the kids to the mall or the park. (and here's where we'll do homework, when that starts)

5:30 - eat dinner

6:00 - freetime

7:15 - brush teeth, pajamas

7:30 - in bed (although sleep actually happens between 8 and 8:30)

last night we went to joe & rachel's for dinner and a movie, then went to target for some groceries. i put apples in the cart, and apples are rowan's fave right now, so he promptly grabbed one and took a big bite. i scolded him for eating it before it was paid for (not realizing this concept means zilch to him), then decided to let the cashier just weigh one of the unscathed apples twice. i barely had time to congratulate myself for coming up with this brilliant solution before i heard rowan choking on his stolen bite of apple. josh and i rushed to the back of the cart where rowan was sitting, and grabbed him and started smacking him on the back and sticking our fingers in his mouth. it was chaotic, and micah started to scream. several people stopped and watched. in just a matter of seconds, the piece of apple was out, and everything was fine - in fact, it took much longer to calm micah down than the whole ordeal had lasted in the first place. no more whole apples for rowie!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

micah's second day of kindergarten was better overall than the first. she cried at drop-off, but it was kind of a special circumstance; i don't know if she would've otherwise. i accidentally got her to school a little early, and apparently if the students arrive before 7:50 they can't go straight to their classrooms. they have K through 2nd wait in the cafeteria, and 3rd through 5th go to the gym. so micah and i headed into the cafeteria, and it was loud and full of kids. i just led micah to the kindergarten table, and picked her up and set her on the bench. she was crying and holding on to me, and i just stood right behind her and placed my hands on her shoulders and pressed down gently. i bent down and said in her ear, "can you feel my hands? i'm right here. i will not leave until you're ready." she squirmed and whined for a few more seconds, then quieted. i waited until she was very quiet and still, then i lifted my hands from her shoulders and took a step back. she didn't turn around, so i took that to be her signal, and i left the cafeteria. on my way out of the school, i passed mrs. turrentine, and she asked how it had gone. i made the "so-so" gesture, and she said, "i'll go check on her right now!" that woman is so sweet. she's like an angel, just for micah and me. anyway, i got no phone calls or anything, so i'm assumming micah did great. josh picked her up (in the car this time) and took her to whole foods for some lunch fixings, and by the time they got home, she was in a great, chatty mood, and spent the whole evening laughing, pretending, and putting on dance shows for me.

after sept. 7, josh or i can eat lunch with her at school every friday. we had already decided to take her for donuts every friday morning before school, so whichever one of us takes her for donuts, the other one will go eat lunch with her, and we'll trade weeks. that way we'll both get to do it. micah has to wear sneakers to school every monday and wednesday, because those are the days she has PE. she brings home a daily folder every day which shows how her behavior and participation were in class, and every tuesday she brings home a different folder with important dates and other information.
my girl, putting on her lip gloss before school :-)

daddy, micah and rowan before school this morning.

my beautiful, sunny girl!! :-)

miss micah had a great first day of kindergarten! we had a bit of a rough start, but she settled in nicely. she arrived late to class because i had to drive to the clinic a couple of miles from our house to get a copy of her shot records. then we went to school, and she and i went to the nurse's office so she could update micah's records in the computer. then mrs. turrentine, the awesome counselor, walked micah and i down the hall to mrs. barrett's room. we arrived just as the students were lining up outside the classroom to go on a little tour of the school. micah clung to me on the way, and cried when it was time for me to go. but as soon as i was out of sight, i didn't hear her crying at all, so i relaxed a little bit. but i didn't fully relax until josh called mrs. turrentine a couple of hours later and checked on micah. mrs. turrentine reported that by the time the tour was over and the kids returned to the room, micah was totally fine. that made me happy. it was hard being away from her for seven hours, but the time actually passed more quickly than i thought it would! as soon as we got back home from dropping her off, i called my mom and dad to let them know how it went, then i put on my sneakers and went for a little walk. it was nice to get some exercise and clear my head before it got too hot outside. then i just played with rowan and lina all day, and tidied up the house. it was nice! i got to chat with a good friend whose son also started kindergarten today, and felt jealous of the ease with which he made the transition. but i reminded myself that kids are so differnent, and they do things in their own time. josh went on a couple of errands, got a couple of job applications, and went grocery shopping. then at 3:00 he got the bike ready, put her helmet, some water and a snack in the trailer, and headed to the school to get her. turns out it's still way too hot at 3PM to ride the bike, so we'll be biking in the mornings and driving in the afternoons for now. micah was very tight-lipped and out of sorts when she first got home. she was baby-talking a little bit, not being herself. i think she just needed time to process everything she'd been exposed to, and regroup a little bit. she whined and cried for a while, then around 4:30 she crawled into our bed and fell sound asleep. our friends, the russells, arrived for dinner and playtime at 5, and micah woke up even crankier at first. so i shut the door and snuggled her for a minute, and she recovered. she ended up having a fun evening with one of her best friends, mink, and behaved beautifully (i wondered how it would go, what with her being so tired). the girls chatted a little bit about their first day at school, but mostly just pretended and imagined. rowan and lael (one year apart in age) played with batman guys and cars, and rowan got grabby, as he is prone to do lately.

speaking of rowan, i feel like i've been tootin' nothing but micah's horn lately, so let's talk about my boy. he has abandoned both pacifiers and diapers (for the most part). he's 100% reliable diaper-free at home, and about 85% reliable out in public. i always bring a change of clothes in the diaper bag when we go out, and i use it pretty often. the past couple of days, he's asked for a diaper instead of undies, and i've complied because i don't want to push him. he had one false start before that lasted about a week. we're past that point now, but i still don't want to jinx it. he's the sweetest boy, but he is a stinker at the same time. he'll randomly tell me how much he loves me, or how pretty my hair is, then poke me in the back with his pretend screwdriver and giggle when i tell him how badly it hurt. :-) he loves his sister, and she loves him, but they don't get along too well most of the time. they scream at each other a lot, and grab stuff out of each other's hands. we work on it all the time, but it doesn't seem to be getting better. just a phase, i guess..


Sunday, August 22, 2010

i went out with the girls last night, for a movie and dinner. it was SO fun and relaxing. the movie, 'eat, pray, love' was good - it followed the book well, including all the important moments and leaving out some inconsequential ones - and the acting was great. i especially loved the guys who played richard and philippe. there were a couple of cheesy moments, but i still enjoyed the whole thing overall. and dinner was excellent - we shared all our dishes, family-dining style, and elena brought a bottle of pinot noir. i had a little bit too much and felt loopy on the way home... and on the way to work this morning. :-/ it was great to spend kid-free time with my closest friends who i see often, and a couple of others i haven't spent much time at all with this summer. (i say kid-free, but alison brought connor with her - he was so happy all evening, you hardly knew he was there!) yay for girls' night!! can't wait to plan another one.

i lost micah's shot records. :-( now my vision of her first day of school is ruined (i'm being dramatic) - instead of fixing her homemade waffles with strawberries and powdered sugar for breakfast, loading her up in the bicycle trailer, taking her to school, and walking her into mrs. barrett's room right on time... i get to haul ass to the clinic at 8AM, get a copy of her records, then go sit in the nurse's office while she updates micah's school record so she can attend class. i was in tears yesterday, tearing my house apart looking for the damn thing - i hate it when i do stuff like this. oh well. i have ALMOST forgiven myself. oh, and the school nurse's name is hannah. :-)

Friday, August 20, 2010

josh took the kids out to lunch and to visit his grandma this afternoon so i could get a home study done. he came home with stories of less-than-ideal behavior from the kids and a pounding headache, so i decided to take the kids back out to dinner and to the mall for some playtime while he relaxed and worked on some art projects at home. micah, rowan and i headed to the galleria, and the kids zeroed in on mcdonald's as soon as we got to the food court. i was too tired to argue, so we all got chicken nuggets and fries. blech. when we were finished (the kids only ate half of their happy meals; not something that usually makes me happy, but in this case, it did) we walked across to the indoor playplace. i sat and chatted with another mom for a while, and the kids had a good time until a little boy they were both playing with got a little rough and handsy. i don't think he had a good concept of personal space and boundaries. he really liked rowan's batman toys, and asked to play with one, but he kept sucking and chewing on it, so when i saw him drop it on the floor i snatched it up and stuffed it in my purse. when the boy came back looking for it and couldn't find it, he tried to pry the other one out of rowan's hand. shortly after that, the little boy started wailing on another boy, whose mother got a little heated over it. i decided it was time for us to head home. the kids cooperated immediately; i think they were tired. when we got home, one of my best and oldest friends, jake, was hanging out in the garage with josh. the kids were happy to see him, so i let them stay up a little bit. jake left, and i got the kids inside, pajama'd and into bed. we watched one episode of 'i love lucy' (our latest bedtime routine) then turned the lights out. they fell asleep within two or three minutes. now josh and i are going to hang out in our room and watch a movie while i fold and put away clean laundry. g'night. :-)
also this month, we rearranged the rooms in our house a little bit. we decided the kids and all their stuff had outgrown their room, so we switched them with the office. now the kids have a new, cool room with plenty of space and a bigger bed for them to share, and josh and i have (or will have, once we get it organized, and buy a new desk and reading lamp) a cozy office/reading room. i'll post pictures of the office once we get it the way we want it. for now, here's a dark, washed-out pic of the kids' new space. :-) we really need to buy a camera...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

micah's elementary school porch party was a wild success!! we arrived with a huge tote full of school supplies, and as we approached the school i saw a crowd of people gathered in front of the windows. we got closer, and i saw each grade had a section on the window with teachers' names posted and their list of students. i quickly found micah's name on mrs. barrett's list. i told her her teacher's name, and we headed inside to find her classroom. we stopped by the cafeteria first, where i signed my name and josh's on the "room rep" and volunteer lists for micah's teacher. then we wound down a couple of hallways with a bunch of other parents and kids, and finally found mrs. barrett's room. mrs. barrett greeted us as soon as we walked in the door, and asked micah her name. she responded, a bit shyly, but smiling. mrs. barrett had me label all micah's supplies with her name, then put some of them in assigned boxes on the floor and arrange the rest on a table by a piece of paper with micah's name on it. josh held sleeping rowan. while we were messing with the supplies, the school counselor, mrs. turrentine, came in. i'd had a conversation with her a few days ago about micah's separation anxiety at preschool last year. she'd said she'd find me at the porch party so we could put faces with the names. we chatted a bit, then she gave me her business card and went to see the other rooms. then i filled out a couple of information sheets. micah seemed very happy and comfortable the whole time, and i heard her help another little girl find the right box to put her kleenex in. we hung around the classroom a little bit longer, and rowan woke up. then we headed back to the front of the school where the sno-cone table was. the kids each picked "blue and green" (bubble gum and lime) and we sat on a porch step near the table to enjoy our treats. once the kids' mouths were dyed sufficiently blue and green, we headed for home. :-)
i was really happy that micah seemed so at ease the whole time. when we first pulled up in the car at the school, she asked me to carry her. but i told her i had to carry the bag of school supplies, and she'd have to walk. i didn't hear another thing about it. she also wanted to be completely in charge of organizing her supplies in the classroom. i kept trying to arrange her things just so, but she asked me not to help. i thought it was neat that she was taking ownership of her school things that way. she smiled and talked to mrs. barrett and mrs. turrentine. josh and i think she's going to do just great. i'm still anxious for monday morning, but more in an excited way than an apprehensive way now.

oh, and josh and i also signed up to be on the safety committee, which means one morning or afternoon a week, we each get to be the crossing guard in front of the school! i've always wanted to do that! i can't wait for my first shift.
hilarious. i haven't posted anything in over three months!! it's not as if nothing post-worthy has been happening.

i just read my last post, where i complained about four of my best friends igoring me on my birthday... and i feel compelled to update that two of them showed up at the surprise party josh threw for me the very next day!! the other two couldn't make it because of other obligations. but, anyway, i felt silly for being so hurt. :-) the surprise party was amazing; i was so touched that josh planned and pulled it off, and had such a blast with everyone who came.

micah and one of her best buds, isaac, shared a 5th birthday party in may. alison and i made rainbow cupcakes, the kids lived it up in the bounce house and destroyed a pinata filled with organic lollipops, and both birthday stars got some really neat presents. fun was had by all!! :-)

let's see, june... josh and his twin, jill, turned 31, and josh and i celebrated our 8th anniversary. our family also celebrated a year of being in this neat, perfect-for-us home.

july was hot, hot, hot, and we spent a lot of time at the richardson, garland and mesquite city pools. alison introduced us to two pools in her area, and we had regular playdates there. micah started a gymnastics class with another one of her best friends, mink. the girls had class together every thursday morning, up until last week when they switched to monday evenings in preparation for school to begin.

and that brings us to august, and school!!! micah is starting kindergarten on MONDAY! i can hardly believe it. we had fun shopping for school supplies, a couple of new back-to-school outfits to add to the gobs of awesome hand-me-downs she's received this year from rachel & mink (thank you!!), and a cute new haircut. tonight, we'll bike a couple of blocks to her school and attend the "porch party" where the kids will get to set up their cubbies, meet their teacher, hopefully connect with a few classmates, and eat snow cones. i'm excited, and micah seems to be excited, too. her new lunch bag arrived today. i think i'm more excited about fixing her lunch than anything else! :-)

josh and i have a new 2-3 year plan. he is going to stay at home and help me with the kids, while also working on furthering his career as an artist, while i continue to work for my dad, babysit lina, and go to school part-time. i'm going to school to get my required courses to sit the IBCLC exam in July 2013. i'm very excited, as i have never until now felt motivated and driven to pursue a specific career.

my mom, stepdad and little sister are moving to austin sometime in september. i'm going to miss them a ton, but i'm so happy my little sister is able to attend the waldorf school that my mom and stepdad love so much and feel so connected to. it's an amazing school, and i know i'll get to see them often - austin isn't too far away!

and now i gotta go get ready for micah's school function tonight. it's nice to be back, little blog!