Monday, May 30, 2011

May stalks out...

Happy Memorial Day.

It's freezing here, 41 out this morning and raining. It was about the same yesterday and the Kiddo is going a little crazy with cabin fever. The good news is that the cold weather has kept me in, which gave me the time to finish my weeks school work by last night, so today is a 'free day'. Maybe I'll hang some pictures :)

Whatever you end up spending today doing I hope it is relaxing and warm.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Fun run…

Today at the Kiddo’s school they are having the fun run. That’s where the kids go out and run a mile… woohoo sounds like fun right? Anyway they do it in grade groups so that the Kindergarteners don’t get trampled by the older kids. I decided not to let the Kiddo go, there’s no way he’d make it a mile (even walking). I let Mrs. S (his teacher) know that we’d be out of school for the day, and then this morning we did our own little family version of the event.

5-27-2011 taking the dog for a walk (2)

The kiddo had cupcakes leash, he wanted to be the one walking her for our run. See her waiting at the door for him to tell her okay? Good doggie!!

5-27-2011 taking the dog for a walk (3)……5-27-2011 taking the dog for a walk (5)

5-27-2011 taking the dog for a walk (4)

She kept walking around behind him, so he’d spin in a slow circle to get untangled. It take me about 15 minutes to do a full loop (all the way around the outer edge of the complex), so with him tow we only did a half loop, he held her leash for most of that time before he got tired of concentrating on his feet AND her. He did make the full half loop under his own power, it took us about 30 minutes. I should have taken a picture when we arrived back at our door. When I unlocked he burst into the apartment cheering for himself "woohoo, I am the winner of the family fun run… woohoo”… I made crowd cheering noises and hoisted him up on my shoulders for a lap around the living room. After that I don’t think he minded quite so much that he missed the event at school.

Oh and go back and look at that first picture again… see the car out the doorway? That’s the Thunderbird we’ve got on loan from my inlaws. We can park so close to the front door that the kiddo can go get inside the car on his own while I’m still locking the apartment! He practically bursts with joy every time he does it. Now maybe you have a better visual for why we moved :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

a bus and some animals

Tuesday night if you asked the Kiddo what he thought his favorite part of Wednesday would be he would have said “riding on a school bus”

5-25-2011 school bus for field trip (1)

The announcement of the day is that, obviously, I survived the field trip chaperone gig. I had two girls and three boys (including Chance) the girls were great, helpful and polite and really good kids. The boys were okay, the taller one was a fountain of “let me tell you…” information and his mouth never ever stopped running. He even spent a few minutes here and there attempting to convert me to his church!! The shorter one was super quiet and a little sulky, I think maybe he was just really shy. The Kiddo was a ball of energy that really wanted to be walking and not stuck in his chair. I did my best to compromise by wheeling him to the animals and then letting him out to walk. All the kids listened well and behaved nicely, they were relatively patient and they didn’t wander too far ahead or behind.

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5-25-2011 zoo field trip 007……..5-25-2011 zoo field trip 009

5-25-2011 zoo field trip 012……..5-25-2011 zoo field trip 013

5-25-2011 zoo field trip 014……..5-25-2011 zoo field trip 019

5-25-2011 zoo field trip 020……..5-25-2011 zoo field trip 021

5-25-2011 zoo field trip 024……..5-25-2011 zoo field trip 026

5-25-2011 zoo field trip 022

Before we started walking around I took a survey of favorite animals so I could make sure we saw at least those; giraffe, turtle, elephant, snake, and monkeys... we managed to see them all. I believe my gaggle of kids all had fun, which is good. Despite my best efforts the Kiddo ended up walking for part of the visit, and the girls took turns riding in the chair (I suppose they figured it was silly to have me pushing an empty chair) and the Kiddo was really worn out by the time we got home.

From the pictures I took (there were 25, I didn't post them all here) I selected about six that seemed to "showcase" a child and printed an 8x10 collage for them, one page for each kid. We'll ask the Kiddo's teacher to help him make sure they get them today after class. They aren't fancy (at home color printer on regular paper) but I hope the kids will like getting them anyway.

Oh, and in case you were wondering the Kiddos answer has changed…. He says his favorite part of yesterday was climbing on the dinosaur and seeing his favorite animal, the giraffe.

Hair today... gone tomorrow

Yesterday I went ahead and got my hair cut. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it, but I think I do, it's an awful lot like my sisters was back when we were in college a decade ago. So far it's quick and easy and the stylist thinned it out enough that it isn't to poofy on top. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

End of May update

The move went relatively smoothly. The Man had several guys from work show up to help (hurray for second jobs coworkers who are used to unloading trucks and don't mind stairs). Day one they worked from noon to 4 and had at least half our stuff moved. Day two we worked from 9ish to four again and everything was moved. Sunday we spent a couple hours cleaning, and I handed in the keys first thing Monday morning.

I am TIRED, we really need to put up the curtain in our bedroom (morning sun ugh). But the Kiddo is happy (his room was put together day one so he'd feel as much like normal as possible. The dogger adjusted quickly which is a relief, I did my best to keep her routine exactly the same (potty trips, walks, etc) and I think that helped. Our address is completely different, which is funny because it's the same complex just a different building so I would have thought just the apartment number would have changed.

The Kiddo had all of last week off of school for Kindergarten testing. He did his testing on Friday, you all pretty much already know how it went. He is smart, so of course he tested smart. His reading level was up at a G (I have no idea what grade level that is... but A is "barely recognizes letters" and G is really great for Kindergarten!!). He would have been higher but "he doesn't recall all the details of what he reads" ... for example he read the teacher a book about bubbles but when she asked him what types of bubbles he had read about he was confused and couldn't think of them. When I asked him later what one type of bubble he'd read about was he told me about a boy who blew a bubble with gum and popped it all over his face. (her question was broad and he couldn't recall... mine was specific and he could *shrug*).

The only part of the testing he was docked on was the spelling. He was bored and messing around, she asked him to spell cat and he put two A's in it, she tried to nudge him by saying "really??" and he just laughed and said yep!. Then they spelled the word net and he started to do it again, she did the "really??" nudge again and this time he decided to do things right and removed the second e.

Yesterday was his first day back to school after that break. I decided it was no longer his teachers choice whether he uses his chair in class or not. I am tired of her forcing him to sit in it, it is the ONLY time we use the thing. If it wasn't for her we would have returned it two weeks ago!! Anyway I left the wheels in the car and let him walk into class, I almost got away with it but she asked me to bring them in so when the kids got to go out to play he could sit. I understand her fear of him getting hurt, but she's hurting him by forcing him to sit in a chair watching the other kids playing too! I will not make him finish the school year in a chair, so I will keep trying to get her to adjust. After all there's only one week left.

Tomorrow is the Kindergarten field trip, the class is going to the zoo. I am going as well, with his condition I have pretty much been told I'll be going to all field trips. I'm terrified, I will have at least 5 kids to supervise and keep control of and I really am not happy with the situation. I'm trying to look on the bright side though, I bet I get some really fun pictures.

We leave here bright and early in the morning and will get back home by 1.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My morning so far...

It's 8:56 and it's been quite the morning so far.

First the Kiddo wandered into my room at 7am and started to crawl into my bed.

I said "hey! What do you think you're doing, it's not 8 yet... get your butt back to your bed and go to sleep."

He said "but I've been trying to sleep forEVER and I just can't DO it".

He went back to bed (a rule is a rule *grumble*).

At 8am on the nose he came in again. This time he crawled into bed and snuggled for a second, then he asked if I would get up so he could teach me how to do math (he says "maff"). I said no, I had to take cupcake out first. So he jumped up and limped down the hall. Next thing I know he's taking the dog out of her crate and down to her indoor potty, which is in his bathroom. He locked himself and her into the bathroom and spent ten minutes entreating her to go pee "so mommy wont have to take you outside in the rain."

Then he came back to the room and said "mom, cupcake wont go poop, but she did pee so now we can play school and I can teach you!" I told him that cupcake really needed a trip outside to go potty too and that we would play school when I got back in. So I got up, got dressed, and took her out.

When I got back inside the Kiddo met me at the door. He told me that there had been a tiny animal on his toy and that when he touched it, it ran away. I immediately thought spider (though he maintains that it was not because spiders have eight legs and this new animal from Africa only had six). I told him that it sounded like a spider to me, and we had a long talk about not touching bugs OR spiders, especially spiders because they can bite you and that can make you really really sick.

Ten minutes later the kiddo came to me and said "you know that boy on tv? Well he touched a spider and it bit him, but he didn't get really sick... instead he turned into spider man!"... Which led to a long conversation about how spider mans spider was super special but all the spiders in our house are NOT special so NO TOUCHING.

Ten minutes after that he came to me again and said "well spider mans spider WAS special, my spider wasn't a special spider, he was just a scared spider." and he sighed.

After that I sat down with him and he taught me school work (his game I swear). He wrote me sentences with missing words and had me pick the word out of a group of them at the bottom (e.g. "I____you. Water is ___." (love, blue, red, my --- were written at the bottom of the paper).

Monday, May 16, 2011

Moving Down

December 2007 is when we moved into this apartment. The actual move was quite a bit more difficult then we thought it would be, but living here has been great. The complex we live in is set up as a circle, the buildings surround a central common area with a large open grassy area and a playground and swings.

distance from the apt to the carThere are two drawbacks to our current apartment though. First the parking space assigned to us is a million miles away…

If you’ll remember the picture I shared back in February (and am sharing again here) it really isn’t QUITE a million, but it FEELS like a million especially when you’re lugging a 50 pound kid (with his spica cast), or when you’re attempting to carry two weeks of groceries inside in one trip (yes I’m stubborn, why make the long walk twice if I can get it all in the first time). The point being that one major drawback to living in this specific apartment is the walk TO the apartment… and that doesn’t count the stairs, which takes me to drawback number two

three flights

Three flights of stairs. The minor issue with the stairs is the kids that live next door, and on the second floor, and on the first floor… they thump up and down the stairs, they use the landings as clubhouses, and they make tons of noise (which drives the dog nuts, and makes the kid nag constantly to go outside and play… which he can’t do because he is NOT ready to play on stairs yet).

The slightly more major issue with the stairs is that I didn’t realize what a problem they would be until I was lugging groceries up them. I don’t mind a little exercise but after the walk to the stairs from the car the task of getting up the stairs is sometimes a little less than cheerful.

Two days after the Kiddo broke his leg, February 10th, these little niggling issues stopped being seeds and grew. I made an off the cuff comment to my mother in law that it would be a good time to try and move to a ground level apartment. A couple weeks after that my sister came to visit and I had an actual conversation with her about the plausibility of the idea, and if it would even be logistically possible. We tossed around thoughts and then I let it go for a bit, but the little seed of thought was growing.

Near the end of April, while getting the mail the Kiddo and I stopped into the office to say hi and in discussing his slow progress walking I happened to mention that a ground floor apartment would be an amazing thing to have at this point. She laughed, and then mentioned that they did have one available.

I thought about it, ground floor!! Parking space right in front of the building! No more worries about the dog and kid playing fetch (thump thump thump of running doggie feet) and the Kiddo could actually walk from the car inside by himself!! But what would transferring apartments cost us? She said nothing, they don’t have transfer fees at this complex. Really? But what about increased rent (it IS a slightly larger apartment), … that’s more complicated. When we moved in the market value was up, the rent we pay at our current apartment is actually higher then the rent that a ‘new move in’ would pay (insert grumble here!!), on top of that we didn’t know about the military discount the complex offers (maybe they didn’t have it back then I don’t know) so now we can get that too. So yes the apartment is technically more expensive than our current one, but what we would end up paying for it wouldn’t be. Interesting.

We could only think of one big reason not to move, the move itself!! I never have liked moving, I’ve done it a LOT and every time it’s a mess and people end up cranky.

But after much thought we decided the pro’s outweigh the con’s… and we put our name down for the new place. The Kiddo is over the moon, he is so excited that he will not have to be carried to and from the car anymore. His recovery is taking a lot longer then he thought it would, he keeps telling me the cast was on for a million years and it was awful and now learning to walk is taking a million years too! He hasn’t gotten mad about it yet, but he is frustrated and every little bit of freedom (him moving on his own power) helps ease that feeling.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

off with her hair

This is a rather random post, I should be writing... more specifically I should be fixing other peoples writing. It's the final week of my second class, there is a large paper due (2000 words) and it's a team paper. That means I am relying on three other people to write semi decently. They don't, the one guy in our group turned in his portion of the paper to me yesterday morning. The entire thing is paraphrased and cited. I'm not kidding either, he wrote about 700 words split into four paragraphs, each paragraph has at least four citations in it, and they aren't quoted. Even with that his paper comes back with a 17% plagiarism similarity score (there's a program that the school uses to compare your work to their entire library of work and find plagiarized material). Needless to say I requested that he make an attempt to write more of the paper in his own words.

That's just to give you an idea of what I'm working with. I've already finished my portion (300 words intro + 600 words for an addendum paper). I'm really hoping to get the whole thing done and turned in by tomorrow night but I'm not holding my breath.

A couple years ago I chopped my hair off, it was short, and it was relatively cute but I kept thinking it was to long on top and poofy so it drove me nuts. The thing is most everybody else told me they loved it.

With the Kiddo's broken leg I have been keeping it pulled back constantly, taking care of him and lugging him around make wearing my hair down impractical. Now summer is coming up, part of his physical recovery will be swimming, I intend to take him down to swim at least three times a week. I'm thinking more and more about trying another short hair style.

What about something like this?

That's Audry Hepburn, I've been told I look a little like her (flattery I'm sure because I highly doubt it). Still the hair is short, and cute, and looks amazingly easy to take care of; fluff the back, pull down the top, short easy bangs...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Too smart.. moving forward

I don’t know what to say here, we went to talk to the Kiddo’s school academic team last Friday about keeping him back in Kindergarten. They had seen his scores for ADHD (which showed he did not have it) and run him through a whole list of academic type tests.

IMG_20110509_135212

I can’t really explain how to read the scores. I think they said an average score was between 80 and 100, even his lowest score was at the high end of that average range, and almost all of the Kiddos scores were easily above that. (you’re looking at the last column, under SS ).

Needless to say our request to hold him back was denied. If we wanted to continue fighting for that end we would have to take our case to the school board. Mrs. G (the principle) promised that if we allowed them to advance him into first grade they would do more frequent assessments of his progress. She said they knew he was smart so they would know that any failing was for other reasons, and that those reasons could be dealt with.

Anyway Kiddo’s going to be a first grader next year, I will pray that he gets a teacher that’s understanding and easy to work with, and I’ll make the time to do whatever co-teaching is needed.

Little bit of a shock to think your kid is smart, to have his teacher tell you she thinks he’s pretty smart… but actually SEE how smart he is, I mean even with his distracted focus he managed to score that high.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Kindergarten Program

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The good thing about being ‘stuck’ in a wheelchair is that you get to sit right in front for your kindergarten program. There’s no way you’ll be lost in the group and everybody sees you…

I was in the back row because I arrived a little bit later then most of the other parents (the handicap parking spots were all filled so I had to park far enough away that I would be able to get him into the car when it was time to leave) but I could still hear the kiddo singing

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I thought he did a great job and really got into it.

video


video

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Three weeks cast off, One walking

video

"My brain is a little man... there's a little man in my head who is my brain. He likes to help me walk, and he has tubes that go to my ears. When you whisper in my ears it knocks him over on his butt!!"

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sing a song of sixpence

video

I think he likes the poem, in fact this video was taken on Saturday, by Monday he had the thing memorized enough to stumble through it no book.

Thoughts...

Thoughts Become Things; Choose The Good Ones.