Tag Archives: school

Bucket list round-up

We ended up not doing quite a bit on the bucket list. I think we’ll still enroll the MM in swimming lessons at a local indoor pool, and we’ll probably be getting bikes before next summer. I kind of feel like I’ve failed as a parent that my almost 8YO has never ridden a regular bike. Gotta get on it.

We did go on our yearly Edisto trip and it was kind of a disaster. We probably won’t go next year. My brother brought along his GF and basically hung out with her, leaving the rest of us caring for his 2 kids + the extra friend my niece brought. I told my mom it was a bad idea to include the GF, primarily because, call me crazy but, I thought a week focusing on his kids who just went through a divorce might be nice. There was a family blow up around mid-week over it. We’ve had these issues with him before. The sad thing is all the cousins absolutely love hanging out and that will be a bit curtailed. Thinking we’ll visit my parents more often so they get to see each other, but vacationing together is rather miserable. The kids all had a great time and that is most important.

Since my last update, we attended another Bulls game, which is always fun, and both boys attended their various camps, which they enjoyed. Grandma also moved to NC and bought a house, which is a whoooole other post all on its own.

The MM update
The MM started at a new outdoor preschool this year, which we were/are excited about. We love their philosophy and that they are outside playing in the woods most of each day. He has been enjoying it, but we are having some hiccups lately. He has been hitting other kids, primarily one girl (!!!!). He got sent home yesterday because he did it more than 3 times. I’m not sure why he’s doing it and we are talking to him about it. He had consequences as well (no tablet time yesterday and he had to miss his Li.ttle G.ym play date). He is super stubborn and kind of defiant sometimes, and he acts like he doesn’t really care about consequences. Typically, though, he’ll come around and end up apologizing sincerely at some point. Hoping this is a stage and that it passes quickly. If I recall correctly with Monkey, behavior issues vastly improved at around 5, so here’s hoping.

We signed him up for fall baseball with the same league Monkey played with and it was a complete failure. He participated just fine the first practice. After that? Nope. Would not go on the field, nothing. We tried for a couple of weeks and then pulled him. Sigh.

The MM loves to build Lego sets, play with superhero figures, and play on his tablet (he is not as into it as his brother). He is a funny, deep-thinking, opinionated kid.

Monkey update
Monkey is now in second grade (wtf) and unfortunately, he has a bad teacher this year. She is far more interested in kids falling in line than in their learning. Monkey has gotten in trouble for humming, talking to classmates, and typical 7YO boy stuff. One day she sent him from the room crying because he was daydreaming (he says he was thinking) and that was the point at which we went in and talked with her. She told us he is a sweet boy and not at all a behavior problem (but she’s sent home 7 “reflections” as of this writing). She is a stickler for the rules and we are trying to just work with it. I’m keeping track of everything and am prepared to escalate if things get worse. Sigh.

Monkey is still loving reading (makes my heart so happy), and his tablet (heart, not so happy here – lol). He is a kind, loving, gregarious kid.

General updates

  • We sold our condo in CA (in June) and used some of the proceeds to purchase 2 cars: a black 2017 Toy.ota High.land.er and a silver 2014 Hon.da CR.V.
  • Halloween is almost here! Monkey is going to be Frank.enstein’s Monster and the MM is going to be a cat (for a friend’s party this weekend) and Buzz Lightyear for Halloween (getting to reuse that awesome costume of Monkey’s).
  • In early December, we’re going to Hilton Head for a few days with my mom.
  • My dad has been in Houston since the hurricane, working for FEMA. He’ll be there through the end of the year at least, with a break at Christmas. Guess his 45-supporting ass is at least paying his dues. Sigh.
  • I continue to rage through the dumpster fire that is our current administration. Trying to muster the courage to make an appointment with a therapist…

BUCKET LIST

  1. Visit Granny, Papa, and cousins for pool time. NOT DONE
  2. Go on yearly Edisto beach trip (mid-July). DONE
  3. Get library cards. DONE
  4. Attend one Durham Bulls game per month. June: DONE July: DONE
  5. Go boating with local friends. DONE
  6. Get bikes for the family (finally). NOT DONE
  7. Put an Intex pool in the back yard. NOT DONE
  8. Go strawberry picking with friends. NOT DONE
  9. Enroll in swimming lessons (the MM). NOT DONE
  10. Attend summer camp. DONE
  11. Help Grandma move to Raleigh (mid-June). DONE
  12. Go to Carowinds (mid-August). NOT DONE
  13. Plan a local family vacay. NOT DONE
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summer!

Hi, friends. Believe it or not, I’m still alive! My pal Amanda over at Little Monster(S) and Mommies has convinced me to try my hand at the Summer Bucket List again this year after a break for the last few. My list will be at the end, after a brief update on our goings-on of late.

The Marshmallow is finally kind of, sort of agreeing to potty training. At 4.2 years old. We have tried several times and he is one stubborn dude (a friend calls him Silent Thunder and it’s pretty apt). He can do it (and had a 3 day stint of no accidents and dry overnight diaper), but sometimes he just wants to show us he doesn’t HAVE to. It’s the MM’s world, y’all – we just live in it. Anyway, we’re committed and 2 weeks in so let’s hope we’re all good in the very near future.

Monkey and the MM are in karate and they enjoy it. They recently participated in a karate competition and then had belt testing this week. Tomorrow we have karate “graduation,” during which they will receive their belts (yellow for Monkey and yellow stripe for the MM).

Monkey’s last day of school is next Friday. The MM has been home since we pulled him out of his last school. Let’s have a moment of silence for Mommy (DW) who will be home with them all summer.

We have sold our California condo and close on Tuesday. It has been a money suck and our prop manager out there was the worst, so bye, Felicia!

As we purchased it in 2002, we are going to make a nice little chunk of change on it.

Now that I’ve provided a quick update, on to the bucket list! Following is what we currently have lined up or are considering (I will add/remove events accordingly):

  1. Visit Granny, Papa, and cousins for pool time
  2. Go on yearly Edisto beach trip
  3. Attend one Durham Bulls game per month (First one is this weekend for Merge Records night!)
  4. Go boating with local friends (first time for both boys)
  5. Get bikes for the family (finally)
  6. Put an Intex pool in the back yard
    Speaking of, anyone have input regarding the inflatable vs frame version?
  7. Go strawberry picking with friends
  8. Enroll in swimming lessons (the MM)
  9. Attend summer camp:
    • The MM’s first summer camp experience (Super Hero camp with bro at what will be the MM’s preschool next year)
    • Monkey’s summer camps: Super Hero, Chemistry, Karate, Durham Bulls baseball (tentative)
  10. Help Grandma move to Raleigh
  11. Go to Carowinds (I remember going as a kid and having one foot in NC and one in SC as the park is on the boarder)
  12. Plan a local family vacay

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preschool update

We’ve decided to pull F from his current preschool. There have been a few things he’s told us in the last couple of months that make me ready to pull the trigger. Tell me what you think:

  • F threw dirt at another child while playing outside and, according to F, the teacher’s assistant told the other child to throw dirt back at him. Um, no. F volunteered this story to us, but you know, 3-year-olds aren’t always the most reliable so we felt a little weird about it, told F that was not how it should be handled, etc. and moved on.
  • F told me one day that he was put in time out by the teacher’s teenaged son. The son has been in the classroom a few times and DW and I have been kind of baffled and unsettled by it (he’s not an employee of the school, I’m certain there has been no background check). When F told me the boy picked him up and put him in time out I was like WTFF? Again, NO.
  • Yesterday F told DW that the teacher’s assistant, “Hit me in the bottom.” !!!!! But in the next breath, he said she also hit another child in the head with a stick (highly unlikely). DW said when she picked F up at school, the teacher and assistant said he’d had a good day and they are not shy about telling us when he has bad ones (there have been many of those). So again, unsure if this happened, if this is how it happened, etc. That said, we have enough of a weird gut feeling that we’re done.

We kept him home today and I’m going to call and let the director know we are pulling him. I feel really weird about bringing up stuff that could be damaging to the assistant teacher when we don’t truly know that it actually happened. F talks about “bad guys” and “villains” and hitting a lot, and he does embellish events. I plan to say just that, “We’ve heard a few stories from F, and have no way of knowing what really happened, but I wanted to let you know.” He told us these things out of the blue with no prompting/leading from us, so that makes it feel like there must be something going on, even if it’s him just not having a good feeling about the assistant/school.

And now having written it all out, I feel stupid for not discussing each of these with the teachers when they happened. It’s all so awkward. Really looking forward to him attending the new outdoor school next year, where DW and I have had great rapport with the women who run it and are excited by their philosophy. In the meantime, let’s all hope DW doesn’t lose her mind with no more preschool break until August.

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threenager woes UPDATE

The MM’s school had a local (great) resource come in to evaluate his behavior and DW met with them today to discuss. They said he is very smart and super observant. They also said that he has no behavioral issues and from their observation, there are kids in the class who like to “push his buttons,” and that the teacher has been handling that incorrectly. They spoke with her after they spoke with DW.

They also spoke about him being an introvert and gave her some suggestions on how to handle that. He is so extroverted at home it’s hard to reconcile that, but I do see it. Introverts have more issues than extroverts in terms of social aspects of school. As Monkey is RIDICULOUSLY extroverted, we have not experienced this thus far in our parenting journey.

So there’s the update: just your typical introverted threenager over here. LOL.

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threenager woes

BOOBS UPDATE: I went yesterday for my follow up, they did more scans (no ultrasound), and had a doctor take a look. They think it’s fine and want me to come in again in 6 months to take another look. I guess they are getting a baseline? Not all that reassuring, but I guess if they were worried, they’d be looking further now, right?

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Since we are in the midst of having a raging threenager, I thought I’d do a post about the MM. You may recall in previous posts that I’ve referred to him as a unicorn baby, a good sleeper, a mellow guy. And he always was…until 3.5. For the past few months, this guy has been terrorizing kids at school, hitting us, saying mean things, and just living balls out 3.

He’s been sent to the director’s office at his preschool many times, once twice in one day (DW had to go in and talk to him and director). He hits, kicks, pushes, and “sits on” other kids at school. He seemed to have it in for one particular little girl for a while, much to our horror. DW hears from his teacher almost daily about his bad behavior. We talk to him about it, work with him on being a good friend, being empathetic, acceptable ways to express anger/frustration. Still, on he goes and seems quite gleeful about it:

Me: What will you say to A tomorrow? [Kid he hurt on previous day, after we discuss apologizing, etc.]
The MM: Nofing – I will hit and kick and sit on A! [Laughs.]

He has some good days, but more bad than good. He is super clingy to Mama (me) lately and showers me with affection in the evenings. I know that some kids at 3 are biters, hitters, etc. so we’re trying to keep it in perspective and continue to discuss and model positive behaviors. Still, it’s shitty to think your kid is the classroom bully.

We have enrolled him in a new preschool for next year. It’s an all outdoor one like our beloved CA co-op and Monkey has gone to summer camp there the last couple of years and LOVED it. We’re hopeful that a new setting and more outdoor activity will help. He has told us he doesn’t like school, so maybe this will be better? Or maybe he’ll turn 4 and start growing out of this?

It didn’t help to see this article linking Mira.lax to aggressive behavior. The MM had some constipation trouble right before this behavior started and was on a low-dose of Mira.lax for a couple of months. We took him off of it when we saw the article just in case – no difference in behavior. We’re also going to discuss going to 3 days per week at his current school (he goes 5 days currently) with the director for the rest of the school year.

ION, he is also still not potty trained. He’ll be four April 29. He absolutely gets it, understands, could totally do it but – WILL NOT. Sigh.

This parenting thing? No joke, y’all. No joke. Tell me encouraging stories? Please?

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a new school year begins

Monkey started at his new school 8/29. It is on the way to work for me so I’m now doing the drop offs. It’s been awesome having that extra 15 minutes together at the start of the day. It took a couple of days walking him in to his classroom until he felt confident that he could find it himself. His teacher is new to teaching and to the school and seems very excited and motivated. So far, homework seems to be less than in Kindergarten, which I’m happy about, but I’d still prefer no homework in these low grades (aside from reading). Unprompted, Monkey told me recently that he, “Really likes [new school].” Yay! His school is also very diverse, which we are thrilled with and we feel confident that any issues he may encounter having a two-mom family will be dealt with swiftly.

On that note, I had both boys at the local park with me Sunday and there was a party in the rec room there for a church. All of the attendees were black, which whatever but it is a critical part of the story, so I mention it. Monkey was swinging and there was an older boy swinging next to him. I noticed a few younger boys about Monkey’s age come onto the playground and said, “Hey, look! Those boys look your age. You should go play!” To which he responded (to my absolute astonishment and HORROR), “But they all have brown skin. I can’t play with them.” OMFG I wanted to slink away, especially with the older boy sitting RIGHT THERE. I quickly told Monkey that that didn’t matter, of course he can play with them – they are kids just like he is! Since then, we’ve had more pointed conversations about race and diversity and OMG. I have no idea where it came from and it made me feel like we have failed on some level. I’m now on the hunt for books to talk more about this topic. DW and I are still a bit shaken!

We finally converted Monkey’s carseat to a high-backed booster (he’s been in the 5-point harness). When the MM is with him in the car, we feared that Monkey would be tempted to move in ways that would make it dangerous. I’m still not totally sure he is ready maturity-wise, but he’s excited about it and so far, so good. We tell him that if he’s unable to sit in his seat properly, we’ll have to go back to the old seat and that is working for now.

The MM started preschool yesterday (sob). I couldn’t be there as both boys have to be at their respective schools at the same time, so that pretty much sucked. DW reported that there were no tears and he immediately started playing trains and was fine when she left. When she picked him up, he told her he was sad to leave, so I’d say it’s going well. Today he was a little clingy but still managed to get down and play and shed no tears.

It really hit me yesterday that we are pretty well out of the baby years. I’m feeling rather sad about it, but I’m also excited to see what the next stage brings. If I weren’t an old woman, I might very well have pushed for another, but it is not to be. DW says she would NEVER have let that happen, so I guess we were always done at two. Those who’ve been with me for a long time know how difficult it actually was for us to get to number two, so she’s probably right. It’s so hard to believe that the whole TTC/pregnancy/newborn/nursing stage is truly and finally over. It was so all-consuming and now it seems so distant, you know? When you’re in it, you feel like you’ll be there forever. Sigh.

DW is heading to Los Angeles to visit her mom Friday-Thursday. My mom is coming to help with the kids and keep me company. I told her she could come Sunday afternoon/evening and she was like, “What? I’m coming Friday!” LOL. I expect a lot of HG.TV will be watched and family gossip exchanged. My dad took a trip to Ireland last week, so I’m sure I’ll hear all about that. Can you believe my good ole boy dad left the US? Only took him 64 years – lol.

I’m super happy to be heading into fall and to be somewhere that actually has a fall! Ready for boots, sweaters, pumpkin patches, costumes, candy and turkey dinners! Happy fall, y’all!

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kindergarten wrap-up

As we near the end of my oldest’s first year of school (sob), I thought now is a good time for an update!

You all may recall that there was some concern expressed about how Monkey would do in school as he attended a play-based, unstructured preschool (our beloved co-op in California). I am proud to report that our boy has done GREAT! He is reading, writing, excelling in math and he even won a character award this year for Respect. His teacher reported at every parent-teacher conference that she was impressed with how respectful he is, which kind of shocked me as he is an unruly wild man at home.  He is an enthusiastic learner who asks a lot of questions (“What is before 0? What is infinity?”) and shows special interest in math and science (like many other 5-6 year olds on the planet, he wants to be an astronaut).

Monkey also played baseball on a local team and has shown great improvement in his abilities. This was coach pitch, and Monkey consistently hit the ball (didn’t need to use the t) and paid a lot more attention to the game in general. The league he’s on is pretty serious and competitive and he will have to try out to make the team in the Fall. Whether he will make it is anyone’s guess, but I think he’s got a shot and that’s not something I necessarily would have said 6 months ago 🙂 If he doesn’t make it, there is another local league he can join.

Monkey continues to make friends easily and is typically the kid who gets all the kids playing when he’s at the playground, ball game, etc. If running and playing is happening, he is right in the middle of it. He’s super affectionate, which sometimes gets him in trouble at school (unable to keep his hands to himself, but the teacher always says it’s not in a malicious or hurtful way).

Monkey’s last day of school is June 30 (year-round school leads to a late last day). He will be attending a local magnet school next year and we are all excited about it. It is an International Baccalaureate school, which stresses global learning. When you enter the school, there is a huge map of the world painted on the floor and a bunch of clocks set to various times across the globe. Monkey will take Spanish from first-third grade, and then has the option to continue with Spanish or take two years of Japanese. We attended a family picnic/orientation in May and Monkey absolutely loved it. He asks all the time when he starts at his new school. Another bonus? Siblings automatically get a spot, so there’ll be no lottery when the MM is ready for Kindergarten.

It has been an exciting year of growth for our boy. Still can’t believe he’s a rising first grader. Where does the time go?

 

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