The Life & Times of Mommiehood

Here I am finding my way through uncharted waters.


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Sweet boy moment.

The boy never showed us his story last year. The one they work on and take to the Young Writer’s Conference.

Somehow, the story surfaced tonight.

After a frustrating day at work it was just what I needed.

His story was about the time he and I went on a ropes course on top of Vail mountain. Something I initially didn’t want to do, but he was too young (and too short, to go by himself. So I went.

We had a fun time together and it was really neat to read his story from his perspective.

Love that boy!

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pure craziness

This has been a wild month. My last post was about finding a home and having our offer accepted … and there’s been so much packed in the middle I haven’t had much time for anything other than getting by.

As anyone who has bought a house recently would know, it SUCKS! Looking forward to when this process is over and we can enjoy the place. Which might be next Friday.

After the offer was accepted we had the inspection. Of course a few things came up and we had to wait, not so patiently, for a structural engineer to come out. Thankfully the potential BIG issue wasn’t as big and he was able to spot a different larger, more immediate concern with the roof over the front porch and back deck … where some genius had previously taken out support beams.

After what seems like weeks and weeks of waiting and going back and forth, agreements have been reached. Things are by no means perfect, but never would be, no matter where the house. The big, pressing issues are all resolved and we are still getting a very good deal for the location (especially considering any home in the neighborhood could have similar issues and potentially cost even more).

Lest you thing this was the only drama, there has been a mean and nasty underwriter behind the scenes trying to mess up the loan. Having a hubby that’s a lawyer sure does help sometimes. He finally researched the regulations for the federal loan program and was able to use his lawyer speak to get them to back off on an inappropriate piece of information they were pushing us to get. Talk about being unfriendly to small business owners! Sheesh.

Tuesday we thought things looked bleak. Both of us were ready to walk away from the house. Everything started turning around that afternoon and even the loan was moving forward by Wednesday. I’m still in awe at how things came together. In a way that clearly has God’s handiwork written all over it. What an answer to my prayers over the last weeks that we would have a clear answer, that we would know if this was right or we needed to walk away.

Still having a hard time believing that we might actually own this house next week. For real.

Pure craziness!


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almost time for 1st grade

Registered the boy for 1st grade yesterday.

Wow. 1st grade.

His teacher and I talked last year about him being in the 1st/2nd grade class but that apparently did not happen so we’ll have to see how this goes. Was hoping the combo class would be a great challenge for him but maybe this class will give him the opportunity to be with some of his friends from last year. Things could always change if need be and I know they will send him to other classes for subjects where he needs more of a challenge. Just hope his teacher is understanding of his quirks, as I’m sure every parent is.

Tuesday I got a phone call with wonderful news that he will be able to participate in the after school program. After being on the wait list all last year and being told he might be again for another year, I’m so relieved that things changed and there is room. I hated my schedule last year and am grateful that this year I can go back to my three full days.

Today and tomorrow I’m meeting with my coworkers to create a solid plan of who does what and whatnot and am looking forward to meeting and planning with them before the chaos starts in a week and a half.

Here’s to hoping for a great year for both of us at school!


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zooming into first (and second) grade

The boy is done, we are off to Cali tomorrow. He is bummed about missing the last day, but I think he will survive.

His last big project was called “Zooming Into First Grade”. Since he knows he’s going to be in the combined 1st/2nd grade he always adds “and Second”, cracks me up.

I’m thankful since I was a bit nervous about something I heard about all the first grade teachers at his school. He will be in a former 2nd grade GT teacher’s class. Should be a good fit for my smart cookie.

Can’t hardly believe he’s done with kindergarten already.

Yikes!

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Click on the link for his Kinder Graduation ceremony. He’s at about 7:20 and shortly after is the song the kids all sing together.


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if i were a steak, i’d be well done

This is the time of year I look forward to and dread at the same time.
I am excited there are just four more weeks of school, but getting through them can at times be quite dreadful.

Focusing on the positive: I am very blessed to only work 9 months of the year and have my summer off. I am also blessed to work part time, even more to finally just have one building to focus on.

The last couple years have had enough stress and drama to make me reconsider working. I love working with kids, helping them be successful in school (as impossible as that task can be in middle school) and wonder if I could even handle being a SAHM. Hoping that after the summer I’ll be ready to take on another year at least.

Now, one day at a time. The next few weeks will be over before I know it …


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parent-teacher conferences

This is not the first time I have posted about my precious little boy and school, nor will it be the last.

The school year started out great in August. He loved school and was almost overnight totally into writing and drawing and reading. For the first half of the year he totally blossomed.

January then became what seemed to be the end of that. We struggled through several weeks where he was having a tough time getting motivated to get his work done. Unfinished work came home on a few weekends and there were emails and a conference or two with his teacher. Wen the class celebrated 100 days of learning he truly thought that it was the end of the school year. Cried and cried when we told him there was still school till May. Among a few other issues I think we were all just about done with kindergarten and school!

Most of the time I felt like I made a bad decision starting my 5yo boy in kindergarten and not waiting till he was 6yo to start. A big decision that was not made out of incompetence, I am a school psychologist and know a fair amount about schools and child development. But when it was my son having problems in school … I started over analyzing everything and worrying and thinking worst-case-scenario … Not a good combination. Didn’t help that someone I respect who also knows a lot about children and schools strongly suggested whatever you do with regard to school don’t start your boys ‘early’. He was obviously supportive of redshirting kids, especially boys. As my hubby says, kindergarten is the new first grade. We knew that our son was very bright (confirmed by strong scores on the district gifted testing, especially in the nonverbal department) and not only worked to get him into a great school, but thought it best to start him as a 5yo, despite his July birthday. Especially when he was accepted into the school where we really wanted him to go.

There were several weeks in there where I doubted my choice to start him when we did. Concerns that some of his struggle was related fine motor skills and there’s not much to be done about that. Just time. Sure we can practice writing and do a few exercises (if we remember), but time is what he really needs.

All this to preface that I was worried about the trimester’s parent-teacher conference. Worried that his teacher would bring up retention and we might have some tough decisions ahead. Sure I’ve thought about it, but I wanted some really good reasons. Not just ‘he sometimes refuses to do his work’ and ‘he needs to develop stronger fine motor skills’. And selfishly, I did not want to have to pay for kindergarten. Again.

What a shock I was in for.

His teacher starts reviewing his scores on reading and math assessments and he’s well above the average in both areas. She brings up the gifted testing and his Advanced Learning Plan to focus on his super awesome nonverbal learning skills. She asks me if we were thinking about putting him in the HGT class in 1st grade.

Did I hear that right?

When I said that we had talked about it and with some of the concerns this year we want him to stay in the general ed class she breathed a sigh of relief. Said that she didn’t think the boy would be a good fit with the HGT teacher. Told me some about the process for placing kids in the next grade and asked my input about kids he gets along with or doesn’t. I know his report cards are always fine (minus the work completion and work done neatly categories) but hearing this from his teacher was such a HUGE RELIEF.

Oh, and she likes my boy and called him sweet.
That warmed my mother’s heart big time.


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kindergarten times

The first half of the year went pretty well. He seemed to be getting work done, know what he was doing, and was getting along well with others.

Now he’s struggling to get his work done and seems nervous about his work and is in constant need of help and support. Yet his progress report said he’s meeting or exceeding all the standards.

I’m not sure what is going on, but there are several theories I have:
1. His teacher added an extra sentence to the writing and he seems pretty thrown by this, even after doing this for a couple weeks now.
2. He’s perfectionistic and freakin out about the writing.
3. The class had a student teacher till just before break and now there is not as much opportunity for help and support in a HUGE class of kids. He seems to be craving help, whether needed or not.
4. He’s just giving up because he is stuck thinking he needs help and isn’t getting help so he checks out (while his teacher think she can do the work and wants him to do so independently).

We have been thinking of how to give him some motivation outside school and had success one week giving him ‘Friday Fun’ at home because he finished his work at school but not soon enough to earn the fun time at school. He was so excited, earned it, but then the next week had several work papers sent home that he didn’t finish during the week. Not sure what works one week and makes another one so challenging.

Now today. The hubby sent an email letting his teacher know of two additional rewards she can use as reinforcement this week and next, and she replies with wanting to create a behavior plan. Hopefully, meeting with her will clarify my questions and be a productive step in the right direction.

Still, my mind always jumps five steps ahead, job hazard so to speak, and I am kinda freaking out.

Deep breaths. Wait till I can find out what is going on. Above all stop freaking out and PRAY.