Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Caroline's Graduation

This past week was my girlie's pre-K graduation. I can't believe she'll be starting Kindergarten in the fall. Oh, how fast she is growing up! She and I had so much fun getting her all ready. She just giggled and stared at herself in the mirror as I curled her hair and put lip gloss on her. She was genuinely sweet all evening (which doesn't happen often-ha!), which made for a memorable night.
This was her before we left for the program. She's modeling her new graduation dress. Click here for the whole story behind the dress.

Singing on the stage at the program. She was a very serious and timid little singer, but did chime in on every word of every song. But I could tell it was kinda stressful for her. She had a solo (just a few words), and did AWESOME!!!
Ahh...now the fun part. Refreshments were served, and the stress just melted away!
She was so proud of her flowers I surprised her with. It was so cute to see how happy those silly flowers made her! I feel like she looks about 8 in this picture....definitely doesn't look like a fresh five year old.
Caroline and her BFF Sydney. These two are inseparable. I love to watch her chat and interact with her little friends. They all definitely act like they are five going on fifteen! It left a lump in my throat as I watched her playing with all of her little friends tonight. She has been in school with them since she was 18 months old....now they will all be going to different schools for kindergarten. There are a couple of her little friends that we will probably keep in touch with though.

I'm having problems trying to post the video of her singing, but I'll keep trying....she only sings a few words. But, those few words are absolutely adorable!! I was surprised and impressed with Caroline's sweet little voice. She sounded pretty good! Grammi says she thinks that she could be as good as cousin Mary someday if she'd break out of some of that shyness.
Anyway, we had a great time tonite, and we got a lot of mommy daughter bonding time in. Fun stuff!!

Will and Jack's Graduation

Today was the boy's preschool graduation program. It was great fun. Both of the boys One of the boys had a speaking part and they Will sang a few songs. Then they got diplomas and had refreshments at the reception. I just can't believe how big my babies are getting!! Can I just tell you, these two melt my heart!!

This was after the program was over. They gave the kids out candy for doing so well....I'm guessing Jack got candy for just being so dang cute.

This is Tommie, Will's girlfriend. They are absolutely smitten. She has him wrapped around her little finger. She says jump, and he says how high??

This first video clip is of Jack trying to explain to BOTH of his teachers that he had changed his mind, and would NOT like to talk in the microphone. The teachers spent about a minute or so (which seemed like FOREVER) trying to convince him, but he was having NO part of it. It just melted me, and at the same time it was gut wrenching....I could see the terror on his face, and his little lips were just quivering. I wanted to run up to that stage, scoop him up, and make it all better. Oh, and please watch Will (far right in blue shirt) at the end....he lifts up his shirt and shows his belly to everyone. Silly boy.

video

The next clip is of them Will singing. Please notice that Jack is still traumatized after the whole speaking part situation (which was at the beginning of the program). He turned around toward the teacher the rest of the time, while everyone else sang and carried on. He pretended like he wasn't there. It was precious......both of them. So fun to get to see them side by side in a situation like this, and look at how differently they react to the same situation.

video

The last video is of Will saying his speaking part. You can't hear him very well....I took the video with my point and shoot camera. But, he did the closing prayer, and a fabulous job I might add. It went something like this:

Let us pray (I didn't get that part on video). Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for this day and we love you. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen. It was the cutest, sweetest thing ever!

video

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Only 7...

...more days until I get to hang out with these precious little faces all day every day for a couple months. I'm sooooooo ready!!!





Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm "that" Mother

Yep, I let Jacker wear THIS to school today. It was totally not worth the fight this morning...and really, he thought he was being quite fashion forward, and I didn't have time to argue with him!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Heavy Heart

There is a "situation" with one of my kiddos in my class that is weighing very heavy on my heart and mind right now. I can't go into details, but I can tell you that I've not experienced anything like this in education thus far.....and it's tearing me up.

So.....if you're reading this, and if you're the praying type......Please say a prayer for this child and their family.

Monday, May 11, 2009

C.E.L.E.B.R.A.T.E.

We are celebrating Will today, with a little trip to the ice cream shop....
because....after 3.5 years of hard work
....today marks a huge milestone for him/us.
My baby boy graduated from.....
physical therapy!!!!
Yay Will!!!!!!!!!!
I am teary eyed as I type this. For those of you who know us, know that little Willie has gone to physical therapy every week since he was three months old. He has mild cerebral palsy, and has always been developmentally behind his age group of peers. Well, not anymore (when it comes to gross motor skills)!!! Today was his yearly re-evaluation for P.T.....and he no longer qualifies. This is like a dream come true for me.
When we got the diagnosis of cerebral palsy (he was about 18 months old), I was filled with many emotions. I was crushed, of course. I wanted to have the ideal "perfect" child....and this made me admit that my baby wasn't "normal". On the flip side, I knew that it could be so much worse. I DO realize this, and thank God every day that he is able to run around and play. We have worked so hard, as a family, to help Will get stronger....and to be able to do all of the things his brother and sister do. Well, today was our payoff. He still will be seen by our physical therapist one time per month, and will still go and get fitted for the braces he wears on his feet. Once a month seems so refreshing!

Now our focus will be on Occupational therapy. We go every week to work on fine motor and sensory integration issues. We have a long way to go in both of those areas, but feel confident we will make progress.

We have decided to go ahead with the developmental evaluation in NW Arkansas. We were referred by our O.T. and Pediatrician. They will be conducting a series of screening inventories to determine the possible causes for some of Will's social, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive issues. I wasn't sure if I was going to go this route, but we decided that it was best for our family to move forward with the testing. I guess I am struggling with this decision because I just feel confused. I have a hard time articulating to others, the problems we are encountering. I often wonder if the brain injury he has is a factor. I have read some things about kids with PVL often have behavior and social issues. So, that may be just it, although I'm not sure. But at the same time, I need some help parenting. I need tools and strategies that will work for our family, and help me to be a better mother. But......more on that later, when I finish filling out the PAGES of paperwork for the appt.

Anyway, I'm so proud of my little boy.....and commend all of his hard work and always striving to be independent. Hopefully, this is the first of many huge accomplishments he will make in his lifetime!!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

I can't imagine my life without these children it it. So much of who I am is defined by being "mom". This Mother's Day I feel so blessed to have such beautiful, happy, and healthy children. I love you Caroline, Will, and Jack!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

OMG!

Can you please look at this poor baby? This morning Jack woke up and was complaining about 2 mosquito bites he apparently got last night. He was pretty swollen then, but this is how the bites progressed throughout the day. Oh, and did I mention he is severely allergic to mosquito bites. See for yourself.

This first picture doesn't do justice to the amount of swelling. Do you see how his right ear sticks out, and the left one doesn't. Yep, it's that swollen.
Doesn't that look miserable? He whines about the one on his ear more, but messes with the one on his wrist more. His daycare called about 10 am. and said he had fever, and that they were oozing. Miserable!

Here you see how far underneath his ear he is swollen, and the massive area on his wrist. Tim took him to the pediatrician. I thought we should just start out mosquito season going on in....so they wouldn't think I was just being dramatic in the future when I call and say that we have fever due to mosquito bites.....And it WILL happen in the future. UGH! Anyway, we're on a steroid and an antibiotic. Hopefully he will be feeling a little better soon.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

sink bath

I couldn't resist posting these cute bathtub pics....I figure the kids are finally to the age where I'll have to stop taking pictures of them in the tub. So, here's probably our last bathtub pictures. They have recently discovered the fun of taking a "sink bath". We haven't taken sink baths in ages. But, everyone still fits, and they beg to get in it. I can't believe how fast these kiddo's are growing up. It seems like yesterday when the boys were tiny, and I used to lay them in this sink together for a bath.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Top 10...

Top ten reasons why I am OVERWHELMED with my life right now (because this is my blog and I can vent if I want to!).....in no particular order:

10. Rain...my kids are stir crazy and I think they're gonna blow at any given moment.

9. Rain...my students at school are stir crazy (they haven't been outside to play in over a week) and I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!

8. ELDA testing. You fellow teachers know what I'm talking about.

7. My children's preschool. I'm having major issues with some things going on there. Let's just say that I'm not happy in the least, and counting the days (14.5 to be exact) until we walk away for good.

6. New carpet at school...which means that EVERYTHING in my classroom has to be boxed up by the last day of school...EVERYTHING! Every item on every shelf must be in boxes. Do you know how much crap Kindergarten teachers have????

5. New Grant. We have this new grant at school, and it is very time consuming and deep. It is great, but it requires a lot of research and studying. I am up EVERY night until at least 11:00 "working and learning" (as we call it in the classroom) to build a new foundation for every aspect of my professional life.

4. Schizophrenia. Ok, not really...but sometimes I feel like it. I feel like I am being pulled in so many different directions. Sometimes I can't decide what task on my "to do" list is most important, or most attainable......so I do nothing. Yep, nothing. Well, maybe facebook or blogging, but that's important too right?

3. Will. The Occupational Therapist recommended that we have William screened again with a developmental psychologist. It has been about a year since all of that grueling testing (cognitive, behavioral, developmental, autism spectrum testing) . The neuropsychologist said to come back in 9 to 12 months to check for progress. I just kinda put it out of my mind and tried to forget there were any problems (denial is a happy place), but was reminded by an outside professional who has much experience with children w/ disabilities, that she was seeing many behavioral/social/emotional/cognitive "red flags".....OUCH!

2. My house is a DISASTER. Laundry, mess, and clutter have taken over!

1. I feel like a bad mother. I am so busy with work and day to day survival things that I forget to enjoy my kids. It's not their fault that I have a lot on my plate. Every day I pray for patience. Usually by the end of a long school day my patience is gone, and my family feels the brunt of that. I am doing my best.....I just hope it's good enough. Thank goodness children are so forgiving, and don't seem to notice I'm frazzled. I thank God for them every day, and am so blessed to have happy, healthy kiddos.

So, there you have it. Hopefully I'll pull myself out of this funk I'm in, and have a trivial, normal, day to day post soon. Until then....thanks for listening!

PS. My computer has powered off at least 6 times while I have been typing this post. DAMN RAIN!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Silliness with Sissy!

Today was girl's day out for Caroline and I. We went shopping for her a "graduation" dress. She has preschool graduation coming up, and is obsessed about a new dress. Here's how the obsession started........

In December, she had a Christmas program at her school. There was a note that went home informing parents that the boys need to wear slacks and the girls should wear dresses. Well, the note went home on a day that Tim picked up the kids. So.......it got thrown in his truck and I never even knew a note about proper attire even existed. Therefore, the day of the program, I sent Caroline in red and white striped leggings and a precious Christmas shirt and a big red bow. She looked absolutely adorable......

But---all of her friends had on "program dresses". She was the only girl there without a dress on. You can imagine the drama! And she has been traumatized ever since. I told her that day that the next program she had a school she could pick out any dress she wanted. Well, today was the day to make good on my word.

I went with the mindset that she could pick out any dress she wanted, no matter how much I hated it or how hideous it was. We tried on A LOT of dresses. And she finally picked the perfect princess dress for graduation (that will have a navy blue graduation gown over it ;) ). It DEFINITELY would not have been my choice.....but it could have gone much worse!!!

Anyway, here's some silly pictures we took before we left today.