Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Farwell for Now

DSC_0275

We got to visit with our favorite Auntie not too long ago!  Aunt Kim came to visit, before she leaves on her big big trip overseas.  Adam and Kim are being stationed with the State Department in Madrid, Spain for the next TWO YEARS!! 

When she first told me they were leaving (a year ago), I was so excited for them.  I thought it would be such a fun adventure, a perfect time to go since Winn is still so little and not yet in school, and on and on. But, as time has grown closer to their leaving I started to get upset.  Kim and I are very close, and we talk often.  She is such a wonderful friend to me, and has become a sister to me over the years.  She is such an amazing aunt and influence on my kids.  I am so sad for her to go, there were a lot of tears on Sunday as she was packing up Winn and her car to leave.

We did squeeze in some fun before the tears started…

DSC_0223

Playing in the tub, I love how Winn is covering himself up perfectly!! haha!

DSC_0244

All the cousins, Bradley (6), Ellie (3), Winn (1), Grace (1)

DSC_0253

DSC_0269

DSC_0293

DSC_0277

We love you Kim and Adam!!  We will miss you terribly, but have the most amazing adventure!!!  Soak it up, and before you know it you will be back in the states with us!!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Small and Big Changes

First&Last Small

Wow!  I am was in shock putting these two pictures together tonight.  This little guy has changed in so many big and small ways this school year.  I know that each year there with will be miles and miles of growth, but there is nothing quite like Kindergarten. 

The changes are immense…

Being away from home for hours and hours, navigating a huge school, riding the bus, taking afterschool specials, playing “real sports” for the first time, learning how to stand up for himself among his peers, buying pizza on fridays, going on real field trips, performed on stage in front of hundreds of families for his Kindergarten show, having “homework” all be it just a little bit, oh and those aren’t even the things he actually learned at school…

last day text bubble 

I mean this little man can read.  As in pick up a book (not a chapter book), but a henry and mudge, nate the great, and read and read.  Sometimes he still stumbles, but more the most part he is a fluent reader.  Which I have soon realized means, he reads the mail, he reads the headlines, he reads signs around town, he is a master at reading and I have to be extra careful what I let him get his hands or eyes on that is!  I am beyond proud of my little reader, it makes my first grade teacher heart happy!

DSC_0207

His sweet little Kindergarten group after their end of the year show!  Little B in the back, always the leader, and rule follower!  I just loved watching him up on stage for their end of the year musical performance.  He was saying his friends’ lines under his breath, telling his peers to move forward or back, he could have been the director of the show.  He knew the whole thing, every line, every detail, and just what to do next! 

DSC_0213

Bradley and his two biggest buds at school, Brendan and Lily!  These three were inseparable.  He came home every day with stories about sweet Brendan and Lily.  I know first grade will be rough if one of these two isn’t with him to tackle next year!  I didn’t write about it much on the blog, but I wasn’t thrilled with Bradley’s teacher this year.  It wasn’t a great fit for him (and probably me too).  I am slowly figuring out how to let go, and learn that I don’t have all of the control.  It ended up being a great year for him, and his class was filled with super sweet kiddos.  I am hoping next year’s teacher will knock my socks off!  I know my standards are high after teaching first grade for five years, but we can only go up from Kindergarten!

DSC_0200DSC_0205

These were the best pictures I could capture in the packed audience at the performance.  Little B doing a Russian dance!

DSC_0216

You captured my heart six and a half years ago when you made me a mom.  You are my oldest babe, the first to teach me everything about being a mom, including how to let you go to school every day on that big yellow bus and not cry my eyes out!  You make daddy and I so proud with your wise ways and the sweet way you treat your friends and family.  I would love to take some of the credit for the wonderful person you are, but I know that you have been that way since the beginning.  We are just lucky to learn from you.  Just a few months together this summer and then that big yellow bus is going to sweep you away again for another year of school.  Let’s soak up the sun Bradley boy!  I love you!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

worried mama

DSC_0283

I know that is part of our job description to worry as moms.  As soon as we have our children, before they have hardly finished their first cry we are already worried.  Do they look healthy?  Do they have all their fingers and toes?  To be honest, it starts before that, when they are growing inside of us.  What should I eat?  Is this safe?  Should I exercise or not?  We can pretty much drive ourselves crazy wondering and worrying over our children. 

Recently, as in the past eight or nine months, this little lady has been at the top of my Mommy worrying list.  You can hardly tell from the picture.  The sweet curls, the silly smile and laugh, and those piercing blue eyes.  They don’t give any strong clues to what we have been experiencing at home with Gracie.  I know I wrote recently about her rocking in her bed.  She rocks to fall asleep, she rocks in her sleep, and she rocks when she wakes up.  It is so hard to watch.  It is gut wrenching to walk pass the monitor night after night and see her on all fours in her crib rocking endlessly back and forth.  Sometimes it is quiet, sometimes she is fussing, and sometimes she full on cries while she is doing it.  We have video taped it, and showed it to the pediatrician.  At first he said that lots of children do rhythmic movement to fall asleep.  That this behavior could continue until she is 2 or 3.  But, now she does different things during the day.  She crawls across the floor back and forth and rubs her head along the carpet.  She seems to need/crave a lot of sensory input.  I still have a lot to learn about children’s sensory needs, so I am trying to gather as much information to help her with this. 

But, to add to our worries Grace really isn’t speaking very much.  I thought at first I was just comparing her to her amazingly chatty older brother and sister.  I kept telling myself, all children are different, she just might need more time, she has older siblings that is why she doesn’t talk much, etc. etc..

We have now reached and passed that big 18 month milestone and still the words are sllllloooowwwwlllyyy coming.  She may learn a new word for a week, and then it is forgotten.  She may use a word for two months, and then it disappears.  To communicate Gracie mostly signs for things she wants or needs. Currently she actively says Dada and this (when she wants you to label an object).  She just learned ‘down’ and ‘braaa braaa’ is her new little term for Bradley.  She has had and lost Hershey, night night, out, shoe, eyes, and a lot more.  But, mostly she signs…more, please, all done, drink, music, and most of the common signs. 

All of the sudden all of this concern and worry has come to a boiling point.  In the past two weeks we have had a hearing screening at the university, a formal speech evaluation, a visit from Early Intervention, and tomorrow we are taking her for an eye exam.  I am pretty much in mommy overload.  She qualified for speech therapy, so we will be beginning that next week.  We will also find out by next week if she will qualify for services with Early Intervention.  The representative felt that she would definitely qualify for some speech and occupational therapy services to help her with these sensory needs.

The speech therapist gave us some wonderful things to work with her on and we are trying to quickly implement them to help her asap!

Right now I am just treading water, hoping that we will get the right people to help Gracie through this bump in the road.  If I only had the crystal ball that said it was all going to be alright….

Monday, June 3, 2013

We Made It

IMG_1387

I just need a moment to talk about this little and slightly big boy right now…

He is growing up WAY too fast.  Kindergarten is almost finished, only 8 more days left!  I am actually super duper excited to have him home this summer.  I am looking forward to playing at the pool, going to the library, and just giving him lots and lots of down time.  School is intense.  They are gone ALL week, and I am excited to have him around.  He is all sorts of fun, helpful, easy going, and just so sweet to be around.

He came home from school today all excited about this new website they played on at school today.  He kept telling me, “Mom, can we go to a,b,c,y,a dot com and play the games on there?  Please?!”  I had no idea what he was talking about.  First I had never heard of that website, and I wondered if he had gotten the web address wrong.  I told him we would look on the computer for it.  There is was… ABCya.com is totally and completely a website, and a really cool one at that.  He immediately wanted to play the first grade games online. 

“Mom, I need to know what first grade is all about. I need to practice the work I need to know for first grade.”

Ummmmm, ok?!  It is sometimes shocking when you put in years and years of child rearing and hard work.  you wonder, am I doing enough?  do I give them each enough time and attention?  Then they haul off and do something that to them just seems like a minor comment or a fun activity on the computer.  But, as a mom you see it differently.  You get a chance to give yourself a quick pat on the back.  Yep, I did some things right. This little boy loves learning, he loves school, and he is one motivated little kid.

What kid wants to already work on First Grade work with 8 days left of Kindergarten???

IMG_1392

This little guy does!  The one who lost his front tooth last week and then lost the second one last night!!

IMG_1408

Oh sweet happy boy, this proud mama cannot wait to have you home this summer!  The pool is calling our name!  I love you Bradley and I can’t believe that you are just a few days away from being a first grader.