01 December 2006

Snow day x2

So we have another snow day today, but I'm not sure why. I know that most of you in our fair metro area are digging out from inches of snow. Me, not so much. My kids waited oh so impatiently for the piles of snow that the weatherman said were coming, but aside from the teaser flurries that we got around 1pm the was not one flake to be found. Oh well, maybe it will be our turn next time.

Hopefully this will not cancel my Cool Hockey Mom night out tonight. A night on the Plaza is something that I have really been looking forward to. I would really like to get some pictures of the lights.

The kids get to start opening their Advent calendars today. Cameron has one from Lego and I picked one up for Becca that is Playmobil. They are so excited! I can't believe that we are already so close to Christmas.

I will think of you all as you spend the morning shoveling snow.....:)

30 November 2006

A new link

Okay- since I can't seem to figure out how to post pictures since I switched to Blogger Beta, I added a new link to my Picassa Web album. The good news is that I put a ton more pictures on my Web Album than I ever did on the blog! :) Hopefully soon I will get this whole mess straightened out, but right now I have a partially decorated tree calling my name. Hope you enjoy looking at the kiddos!

27 November 2006

A nice Thanksgiving

We really had a great time this past weekend visiting my Granny for Thanksgiving. Granny is nearly 87 and still going strong! There were 19 of us there this year, and thankfully the weather was wonderful. We put the kids outside and they entertained themselves for 2 days. My aunt and uncle have 40 acres and my kids are used to about a quarter of an acre, so they had room to run! Plus they have a trampoline so Becca was in hog heaven!

We had been there about an hour on Wednesday night before my nephew Andrew fell on the fireplace and busted his eyebrow open. The glory of a small town is that my uncle called his doctor friend and then they ran to his office so that he could fix Andrew's eye- at 10pm the night before Thanksgiving, for no charge. My guess is that they would still be filling out paperwork at one of our local emergency rooms.

We had a wonderful turkey dinner complete with Granny's homemade dumplings. It is definitely a challenge to feed 19 people, but we got out tables and ate on the deck. We basically had a lazy day of sitting around and eating, then watching football. Aunt Janet had a cage bingo game that the kids loved playing and I got a chance to do some knitting. Later that night we got out the sale ads from the paper and planned our attack for Friday.

I skipped the 5am trip to WalMart, but left with the crew around 7:30 and we headed to Springfield. First we hit Target, then off to the mall, and then back to Target. Compared to the shopping trips of my childhood (where I can vividly remember closing down Venture and not getting back until after 11pm) we were not very ambitious, but we certainly put a dent into things!

We headed home on Saturday. Cameron does not do well away from home and Thursday night was was very upset about being away from his home. It was nice to come home with a day to prepare for going back to school and work though. I think we will try to get down there again this summer. Overall we had a great time.

22 November 2006

grumble grumble grumble

I have been trying to post pictures of Becca's skating competition, but I can't get my posts to show up on the blog. I will keep working on it though.

She was wonderful! She loved that a ton of people were there to watch her skate and really put on a show for her 61 seconds of fame. And I might be a biased mommy, but I think she was the cutest skater there! She loves her medal, and has worn it for the better part of the 3 days that she has had it. We are eager to compete again!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

17 November 2006

Becca and TV

We have a couple of DVR's from the cable company at our house. I love to have them because nothing I watch is on at a time that I can actually watch it. There are a few shows that Becca enjoys and we record those so that we can have them on hand for times like today- I have a raging headache (yes, the stupid thing is back) and I don't feel like parenting in a vertical position. This morning I loaded up a show for her and laid down on the couch. The next thing I know Becca is saying "Mom! MOM!! I don't want to watch the commercials. I don't prefer them." I was totally entertained by the fact that at the tender age of 3 she has decided that advertising is bunk. Pretty smart girl!

Good news is that I am feeling a bit better since I picked Cameron up from school.

David is off all next week and we are looking forward to a nice Thanksgiving with Granny. All we have to do is get past the skating competition tomorrow and we are all set. Hopefully I will post pictures tomorrow night of our little medal winner- she is the only one entered in her division so we are pretty sure she will win. :)

15 November 2006

Gearing up for the weekend!

The big weekend has finally come- Becca's fist competition is almost here!! The dress is almost finished, I have sewed (yes, *I* did it, no laughing) ruffles on boot covers, and I only have to come up with a way to make the boot covers look like shoes. Her competition mentor called the other night, I think it was the first time I answered the phone and somebody asked for Becca. I am quite sure it won't be the last!

Last night was week 2 of the new swimming lessons. They are at the same place and by the same swim school, but the old director moved to Texas and a new director took over. I am less that impressed with the changes she has implemented so far. She has moved all of the parents out of the pool area- which I don't really have a problem with- but there really isn't any place for us to be. The gym is divided into 3 areas, and they are having cheerleading, volleyball, and some kind of basketball practice at the same time. I got to listen to a weird variety of cheerleading and dance combined with some kind of rap music that apparently helps volleyball players practice better. She has taken the floaties away from the class that Cameron is in, and the reason why I put Cameron in that class was because they had floaties, and instead of putting the docks in the water for the kids to stand on they are all sitting on the side of the pool freezing while they wait their turn. We told Cameron that he was taking swimming lessons until he knew how to swim, but we may have to take a break while I find somewhere else to take him. He has come a long way though. He will get into the water without the floaties now and at the beginning of the last session he wouldn't. As long as he can hold on to the side of the pool or the instructor he is fine. I am hopeful that he will be able to swim a little by the end of the school year. I told him that once he could swim the length of the pool he could quit swimming lessons.

Last night was also our first basketball practice. Cameron has wanted to play basketball for a couple of years now, but it never fit in with his hockey schedule. There a 9 boys on his team and he really seemed to have fun. We have 2x a week practice until January, and then we replace our Saturday practice with a game for the next 8 weeks. Most of the boys come from another school in the district, but he did know one boy from his old school.

Cameron has drum lessons tonight and I have craft night, so I will have a few hours to devote to finishing Becca's skating costume. I would like to have everything finished for her practice tomorrow. David's band is playing at a tree lighting Saturday as well and we are having family dinner Sunday since we will be out of town for Thanksgiving. It will be Christmas in the blink of an eye I am sure!

06 November 2006

The tale of the toy eating tree.

Yesterday while I took Becca to public skating the boys got out Cameron's glider. It was a beautiful day, and while they were out there the neighbors across the street came to play along. Jim and Cameron were tossing the glider and it ended up in the tree between our house and the house next door.The first attempt to remove the glider was to throw a Blue's Clues playground ball at the glider. David assured me that it wouldn't get stuck because it was round. I foolishly believed him. A couple of tosses later the Blue's Clues ball joined the glider stuck in the tree. David disappears into the garage and returns with a basketball. Okay.
After he succeded in getting the basketball stuck in the tree (the current count is 1 plane, 2 balls) he decided to try and climb the tree. Yes, my grown husband decided in his infinite wisdom to try and climb the tree. Being as it's a Bradford Pear he didn't get too far. He was unable to shake anything out of the tree, so he climbed down and went back into the garage and returned with....... another basketball.
Luckily the teenager down the street had a long pole that we borrowed to get the stuff out of the tree. It took a good half hour getting all of the things in the tree down, but we got it done.
At least we have our stuff back now! :)
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31 October 2006

Happy Halloween!!!

We had a busy wonderful Halloween day! Becca woke us up bright and early at 6:15- she hopped up on the bed and yelled "Happy Halloween Day". We sent Cameron off to school and get Becca ready for school. Becca had her first ever Halloween party and she was thrilled! She got a ton of candy and loved playing the games. Then we headed off to Cameron's school and hit another party. The big kids seemed to have a good time. My friend Jean and I treated the kids (ourselves really) to Dairy Queen after school, because the best thing to get right before you go trick-or-treating is ice cream. We headed home and rested for a few minutes before heading out trick-or-treating with Dad. Our neighbors across the street went with us and we hit a couple of streets before Becca and Drew (the cute pumpkin in the picture) were wiped. David had to go to band anyway, so we came in and handed out candy. we finished the evening with pizza for dinner which has been our tradition since the first time we took Cameron trick-or-treating.

How many days until Christmas??? Posted by Picasa

YAY Cameron!!!!

**note: full on Mommy brag** :)

I went to Cameron's Parent/Teacher conference last night. His teacher had nothing but wonderful things to say about him! This is our first year of letter grading and he got straight A's, plus his percentage breakdown was great! He had a 98% in Reading, a 96% in Language Arts, a 95% in Mathematics, and 96% in Science, and a 97% in Social Studies. He has achieved mastery on 3rd grade addition facts and is 1 test away from mastery in subtraction. Everything else he is either at or above where he needs to be. There are still ways for him to improve and we set a couple of goals last night, but overall he is in a great place after the end of the first quarter.

He still has no friends, although she mentioned that the kids seem to like him well enough. He is almost always the last to "buddy up" when they do group activities, but I don't think it is because he isn't liked. I just think that his personality is more suited to working alone and he doesn't like to choose a partner. His teacher and I are working on a plan to help him interact with the kids in his room more.

Overall it was a very positive conference. I really like his teacher and I can see the positive influence that she is having. She has really inspired him to learn and to love school. The only big disappointment to me was that the full time para in his class was not at the conference. She has been such an integral part of this school year and he has really grown attached to her.

Anyway, it was a great night and I am really proud of Cameron.

30 October 2006

The rest of the Weekend-

On Saturday we went to see Open Season with Emma and Tommy, and then Sunday we went to BOO!! at the Zoo. It was a beautiful day and there were a ton of people there. There are stations set up throughout the zoo where you can trick-or-treat, and lots of crafts that you can do. This year we just played outside and Trick-or-treated. Becca is "Married Princess Ariel" for Halloween and Cameron is a CloneTrooper. It was almost too warm- or maybe I don't expect that kind of weather at the end of October. We had a very strange event while we were at the zoo. I heard someone say Becca Boo so I turned around- it was a mom talking to her Becca-boo who just happened to have the same costume as my Becca boo. And she had curly hair. And she was naughty. And she just happened to share the same birthday with my Becca boo, but she was born in 2004. At that point it got just a touch too creepy for me and we parted ways.

We left the zoo and went home to watch the end of the football game. I ran to the store and before we knew it, it was time for the kids to go to bed. So much for that extra hour we gained! Posted by Picasa

Power Play and one BUSY Friday

We had a really big Friday, and to start it off we met Beth and Adam at Power Play. We went a couple of weeks ago with some of our other friends, but this time it was just the smaller kids. It was more fun for Becca that way- she got to play in the little kid area with out 2 older boys tapping their feet to get moving. I have to admit that this was not Becca's best day ever. She is starting to have issues with doing what other people (namely me) want her to do. She was unwilling to eat and ended up simply walking away in the middle of lunch. I spent most of the trip chasing her and vowing to myself that we would never leave the house again. She is just so stubborn and bull headed. Overall we had a good time though, and I really enjoyed being with Beth.

We left and headed straight to Boogey Bash- a celebration of 3rd grade writing. The 3rd grade read a book about the Boogey man and then wrote their own stories, kind of like a sequel. There were 3 featured writers (one from each class, chosen from the very fair "draw your name out of a hat" method) and then you got to go to as many 3rd graders as time would allow and ask them to read their stories to you. Cameron wrote his story about Becca fending off the Boogey man with a hamper full of dirty socks. It was a fun story. Eventually Becca is able to rid out home of the dreaded Boogey man with a mountain of dirty laundy. Maybe he is saying I need to put more emphasis on that part of housework. As hard as he tries to act like Becca is the worst thing that ever happened to him, every story he writes is dedicated to her and most of them are about her. It makes me happy to see him do those things for his little sister.

After school we ran to pick up Becca's Fall Fling costume, and then it was home for about 5 minutes until we headed out to the gymnastics place for open gym. Cameron's school was having open gym night, and since I organized it I had to be there to take the money. We ended up raising a little over $100 for the school, so I thought that was a success. Scary skate was also Friday night and Becca really wanted to go, so we left open gym a few minutes early and headed to the rink. Both of the kids dressed up in costume and skated for a couple of hours along with their dad. (his costume was "just plain dad") We had an impromtu hockey mom meeting (booze on the pool deck of the community center) and we hung out there until a couple of the guys that work at the rink started heaving snowballs at us from the Zamboni pit.

Really, although Friday was busy, we had a good time with all of our activities. I love this time of year. There are so many things to do!
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20 October 2006

Not a big weekend

Cameron has his last drum lesson tonight, and then in a couple of weeks he will start private lessons. They are having a party for the class, and I took it as a bad sign that the instructor asked all of the parents if the kids could have sugar after last week's class. :)

Becca has evaluation at her group skating lesson tomorrow. I don't know if we will go or not. I know how she will score and I know that we need to repeat the class- and probably will for the next few sessions of group lessons. I'm okay with that and I really need to clean the garage out, so we may just stay home. It is supposed to rain, so that may stop the garage cleaning. I have plenty of things that I could be doing anyway. In just a few weeks I will be hounding David to get the Christmas stuff out and should start preparing now.

I think we'll just hang low for a couple of days.

My craft night project

Wednesday night was my monthly craft night at my friend Beth's house. It was also her anniversary, but her husband "took one for the team" and let the girls come over anyway. Can't mess with the schedule you know! I took Becca's skating dress that needed to be rhinestoned and got to work. I got about 1/3 of it done and seem to be off to a good start. I hope to finish the rhinestoning this weekend. I guess for the first time in my life I can tell people that I spent the weekend stoned! We took the dress for a trial run yesterday at Becca's skating lesson, complete with pink sweatpants and a purple turtleneck. She is the cutest Shirley Temple ever.

All I have left to do is finish rhinestoning the dress, find a way to attach a ribbon sash and ribbon trim on the sleeves, add ruffles to her behind, come up with skate boot covers that look like mary jane shoes, finish the lollipop, buy a hairbow............... in my spare time I think I will broker World Peace. We have just under a month until the competition so I need to get a move on for sure! Posted by Picasa

Getting back to normal....

Never in my life did I think that a full pantry would be such a wonderful sight! (well, partially full anyway) After spending the better part of my week fighting Indian Meal Moths I can finally get the food off my kitchen table and put away. My baking goods haven't been put away yet since we caulked the bottom level of the pantry, but most of it is in. I only have a few more things to replace and then I am finished. The overwhelming bleach smell seems to have gone away, or at least I have burned out what sense of smell I had with the bleach :) and all is moving back to normal!!! Posted by Picasa

16 October 2006

Fun Friday Activities

Friday was a day off from school, so my friend Jean and I were looking for something to entertain our kids. It seems like once school starts Cameron is really antsy if he has nothing to do on a "school" day, so we headed out to a place called Power Play. I had never been there before, but I had heard good things so Jean and I packed up for a new adventure. It was a really fun place, some strange combination between Chuck E Cheese on steriods and an amusement park. They had video games, some rides, cosmic golf, lazer tag, and go karts. There was also a very reasonably priced pizza buffet that was pretty darn good. Becca spent most of her time playing in a toddler/preschool area with a moon walk. She was thrilled! If she can bounce on somthing it quickly becomes her favorite thing to play with. The absoloute highlight of the afternoon was watching Cameron drive the go karts. There is a boy in his class that is involved in go kart racing and Cameron has been dying to try driving. He was so excited and really drove very well for his first attempt. Now he wants a go kart of his very own. I'll think about it-NO!

It was fun to spend the afternoon with friends! Cameron had his drum lesson on Friday night, and since we only have one more group class he has decided that he wants to take private lessons. I am glad that he has decided to continue on with the drums. I really think that he needs something to do.

I had really been bemoaning the fact that we don't have a Fazoli's close to us, but I think Friday night we found a better alternative. Drum lessons fall exactly at the dinner hour, and usually I am prepared, but Friday night I just didn't have a plan. There is a little hole in the wall Italian restaurant that is right by the music center, and we decided to stop by after drums. It was FABULOUS!!! Way better than Fazoli's, and about the same price. Best of all it is only 15 minutes away, not 35.

All in all, Friday was a pretty long day. Posted by Picasa

11 October 2006

Becca's interesting personality traits

My daughter is a very complex little girl, sometimes to the point that it surprises me. She is naturally very driven, very friendly, and very resourceful. I am not sure how she came by these traits, but I hope that she carries them with her for the rest of her life. Tuesday at school she didn't have anything to show for the show and tell portion of the day (I was not the only parent who didn't send something for show and tell for what it's worth :))and I was worried that she would be upset. Nope, since she didn't have a toy she quick grabbed the spare pants in her bag and described them to the class. She didn't miss a beat.

She is so friendly with the other kids in her activities, always saying hello and good bye to her friends. Usually she calls people by name, but if she can't remember she just calls you "friend". She is so genuine and sweet. There was a brief stage of shyness this summer, but that has pretty much evaporated.

I feel really lucky to have such a wonderful girl.

08 October 2006

All are feeling better!

Becca and David are well already! David's teeth are gone and he is in very little pain, and Becca looks like the sweet girl we know and love. Things are going well for now!

06 October 2006

Not much this weekend

I got the results of my CT scan- my sinuses are normal, so I am going to start a course of steriods and I will probably end up with an MRI in a couple of weeks.

David is having his wisdom teeth removed tomorrow, so I think he will be pretty out of it for the weekend. The kids are going to spend the night at Gma and Gpas so that David can have some peace and quiet for at least on evening. We have a few activities to run to this weekend, but otherwise we will be hanging out at home.

I think after today I am looking forward to an uneventful weekend!

Yes, that really was my daughter!

Becca got a few bug bites on her face the other day, and I thought they looked a little strange so I took her to the doctor. They looked at her and said "bug bites", charged me $92 and sent me on my way with instructions to double her zyrtec dose. The doctor told me to expect it to get worse before it got better, but I wasn't ready at all for what I saw this morning. Her right eye was swollen completely shut and her left eye had begun to swell, plus her cheek was swollen. This afternoon I ran her back to the doctor and she was dianosed with pre-orbital cellulosis. She has an infection in her eyelid, and as long as it stays there she is all right. The real danger comes if it gets out of the eyelid into the orbit of her eye. So, she is on mega antibiotics and I am under strict instructions to take her to the ER if she gets any worse or has eye pain/light sensitivity. She will then need a CT scan to pinpoint exactly where the infection is and IV antibiotics to kill it.

Made for a long day at my house for sure!

Becca's very scary day...

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02 October 2006

It's not a toomer- for now :)

So I went off for my CT scan today. I've never had one of those and it was definitely an interesting experience! They had me lay face down on the table and lined me up with the machine- and then the nurse left the room! She didn't tell me she was going, I just heard the door open and then a click when it shut again. You really should tell a girl when you are going to leave the room!

Of course I have no information yet, hopefully this is just a sinus thing. My next stop is an MRI if this comes back clear. Hopefully I will be more prepared the next time! :)

On a side note, (hee hee) I think I am going to try a chorus tonight. It has been so long since I sang regularly and they are opening a new chapter of the Sweet Adelines here. They have to have 15 members to be a full chapter and they are up to 10 right now. The Sweet Adelines sing 4 part female babershop so I think it will be fun. I can remember them coming to my school and singing when I was a little girl. I thought then that it seemed so fun and now I have a chance to try it myself. I am pretty excited.

Becca had a good day at gymnastics today and Cameron had a good day at school- 100% on his spelling pretest! It's been pretty good around here lately.

29 September 2006

The Week in Review

I jsut can't seem to keep up with getting the blog done, and now I am having problems getting Picasa to post to the blog, so there will be no pictures for a while. Hopefully I will get that solved this weekend. So now (drum roll.....) our week in review!!!!!

Monday- Our first trip to the Orthodontist. We decided that we need to wait 3 motnhs and then re-access. Cameron has quite an overbite and his front teeth aren't lined up correctly, plus he has a larget gap between them. Eventually this will cost us the big bucks, but not right now!

Tuesday- You and Me and No TV. We had the first of our monthly family reading nights at school. It was a baseball themed event complete with hot dogs and chips for dinner. Our school got a grant from Sprint and this is the way they decided to spend it. 30 mintues reading on the floor in the gym, then a cute skit from the teachers. Afterwords we went with Nick and his family to Sonic for ice cream. Lots of fun!

Thursday- A way busy day!! I have been having headaches on a daily basis for 4-6 weeks so I headed to the doctor. We think that the source of the headaches is my sinuses and I am headed for a CAT scan next week. If that doesn't bring an answer to my problem, then we will move on to other fun tests. Cameron had an appointment to see his doctor and that went fairly well. He still is playing alone at recess on a regular basis, but we are going to work on that a bit. She was in agreement with me that it is important that he learn to swim so we are in lessons until he is able to swim. Becca skated like crazy yesterday and we ended up almost being late to swimming lessons becuase I couldn't get her off the ice. Cameron did all right at swimming lessons, but he is still so afraid to be in water without floaties that it is a tough 30 minutes for him.

Last night we had huge excitement in the 'hood. Someone parked a huge propane filled semi outside my house and then disappeared. One of my neighbors walked by and noticed that it was hissing and leaking propane, so he called 911. We got to spend the evening with 3 fire trucks, hazmat, and the police. After a while almost everyone who lives on my street was congregated in my driveway checking things out. It took about an hour, but eventually they found the driver. After giving him a hefty ticket he moved the truck and life returned to normal. It was an interseting way to spend a couple of hours though!

Not much going on this weekend- Cameron has another birthday party to go to and Becca has skating lessons.

22 September 2006

A small school crisis for Becca

As soon as I picked Becca up from school I knew something was not right. We had to run home to get her skates and I figured it would come out sooner or later. We had been driving a few minutes and she said- Momma, this boy drawed on me at school! He drawed on my sweatshirt, my paper and the centers table. I looked and the boy had done a real number on her. He colored all over the sleeve of her sweatshirt, behind her ear, and on her hand. She was so upset that it was all she could talk about for an hour. She seemed to get over it, but I bet it's a long time before she will sit next to that boy again!

She brought home a paper from school yesterday that she had written her name on. B and E are looking very good, but when she writes her name it comes out looking more like Benny than Becca. I am still impressed. She seems to be behaving well at school and adjusting nicely.

Cameron has had SAT-10 testing all week at school. Makes for not a very exciting week, but he feels like he is doing well. The students got to vote on a mascot and it was announced Wednesday that Wildcats won. The school colors are green and black. Not my first pick, but at least it is an okay color combination.

I think the final decision has been made on Becca's spotlight program has been made. She is skating to Good Ship Lollipop. She has made some good progress and I have seen a lot of improvement in the past couple of weeks. The competition is the weekend before Thanksgiving for anyone who is interested. Cameron didn't freak out at swimming lessons last night so that went well.

Not much going on this weekend- drum lessons, skating lessons, and a birthday party- I get to go scrapbooking with Beth all day on Saturday though. I am really looking forward to getting to spend some time working on my handmade Christmas presents. I would like to get all of those finished by halloween so that I don't have to worry about it anymore.

15 September 2006

skating, swimming, school

Yesterday was a big day- Becca got her first skating cd. The song that is on it can't be cut short enough so I think we are going to change songs, but for the first time yesterday Becca was on the ice with her very own music. I wish I could say that she skated, but in true 3 year old form the music scared her and she wouldn't skate. Hopefully that won't last long!

Last night was Cameron's first swimming lesson. I thought that we had come so far with his fear of water, but last night I realized that was not true. He screamed and cried until they finally moved him down to the class that still wore floaties. We are at a point now where he *has* to learn to swim, I have let this go far too long. I don't care if he ever becomes a competitive swimmer, but he has to know basic floating and stuff.

On the upside, Cameron has not brought home a paper from school yet this year that wasn't graded A+. His timed tests do not count towards his grades, but even with those he is much closer to passing them that I had ever expected he would be. He actually scored 48/50 on one last week. His teacher feels that he will be able to reach proficiency this year and we are excited about that.

The boys are headed to the air show this weekend and we have the second drum lesson tonight, but it should be a pretty slow weekend.

12 September 2006

Drums, group lessons, who could ask for more?

Cameron finally made the decision that he wasn't going to play hockey anymore. (although he is quite angry at me for removing the "my kid is a saint" window decal off of the van) I understand why he made that decision, and it really doesn't surprise me, but all the same I am a little sad because it was a fun social time for me and I really enjoyed the friends that I made at the ice rink. Many of them I still see because of Becca, but it just isn't the same when you aren't at some ridiculously early game in a city that is an hour away. I felt that Cameron needed to do something, so we made him choose an activity- and he chose drum lessons. I was skeptical at first, and I really wish that he had picked something else, but his first lesson was last Friday and he loved it. You could hear his laughter through the store, even over the *4* kids in his class playing drums. He has practiced every night without nagging since. He is also starting swimming lessons this week. The two things that he can't do that really concern me are bike riding and swimming. This was the first summer that he wasn't afraid of the water, so we are off to swimming lessons. I think I am going to put him in a class level higher than I think he can do (with the swimming directors approval) because of his age. That and the fact that if I decide to put Becca into swimming lessons they won't be in the same class. We had taken the training wheels off of his bike at the beginning of the summer and David finally gave up and put them back on. He really wants to ride the bike, but he just doesn't get it. It is a struggle for him to keep the bike upright even with the training wheels on- maybe he just isn't cut out to be a bike rider. We will try again next summer with no training wheels.

I was really enjoying my group lesson hiatus at the rink, but it has ended. Becca was really wanting to go back to group lessons, and I told her she couldn't because she already knew everything in Beginner 1 and she wouldn't do her Beginner 2 requirements so I wasn't willing to go. The next thing I know she was out there doing the best 1 foot glides she has ever done, and she even did 1 crossover by herself. I am going to fix dinner soon, and then we are off to the rink for the second time today. At least we aren't there for hockey practices anymore! Preschool is going well for Becca, she seems to really enjoy herself. Today was "blue" day. She wore blue clothes and they talked about blue things. Thursday is "black and white" day. It will intersting to see what I pull out of the closet for that one!!

Things are going well here. Not too much exciting, but I think that is a good thing. The quick change to cooler weather brought out my jeans and yet another commitment to my "PUT DOWN THE FORK!!" diet. We'll have to see how that goes! Dinner (and the ice rink) are calling me......

06 September 2006

First Skating Party

My first skating party was last night. I didn't really know what to expect, but we had 103 skaters that raised a whole whopping $77.25. When I called to set up the parties I was appalled at how little the skating rink gives back to the school for the amount of money we bring in to them. If we had less than 100 skaters we would have only gotten .50 per skater and if we have less than 50 skaters we get nothing. I feel like it is a pretty poor return for my $4 entry fee. There was a line almost the entire night at the snack bar, so that alone brought in a ton of money for the rink.

I am allotted a $25 budget from the school PTA, so I made that up and then some. I was definitely pleased with that! I have 3 more parties to go and if I make a similar amount I will really be worth that $25! :)

Becca's first day of school!

Yesterday was Becca's very first day of school. We sent her to PDO last spring, but this was her first day of "real" school. She did really well. Some of the other kids were sobbing and wanting to go home, but not B. She was so excited to be there and just sat right down and got to work. When I went back to pick her up she seemed a little shell shocked, but by the time we got to the van she was chatting up every detail of her day. I think she really had a good time.

After school I took her for a special lunch at Pizza Shoppe. We have an hour to kill between school and skating and Pizza Shoppe is on the way. Becca seemed so happy the rest of the afternoon. We will see how she feels about school tomorrow!

I didn't actually cry, but I was a little sad. It is quite the change of life from having kids and raising kids. All of a sudden they both seem so big! A friend and I went and did a little retail therapy and all was well! I got a 2ft tall paper mache letter D that I am going to paint so that it looks like metal and hang it on my wall. Trust me, that was a necessary purchase!
I vow that tomorrow I will come home and clean during preschool and not waste my time! Posted by Picasa

We have (had!) butterflies!!

Last Friday the 2 remaining caterpillars emerged as butterflies and we set them free. It was a lot of fun to watch them grow and change, and I think we are going to do this again on a larger scale next year. I am really glad that I didn't have to explain to the kids why one had died. Posted by Picasa

01 September 2006

Met the preschool teachers today.

David and I took Becca to meet the teacher day at her preschool today. She will have a teacher, and assisstant and 15 kids in her class. Even though there were lots of people there she plopped herself right down in the middle of a bunch of girls and started to play. 2 of the girls that are in her gymnastics class go to the same preschool, but they are both in the afternoon class. I think this will be an exciting year for Becca. She is so proud of the fact that she is going to school and so excited to be there.

She really surprises me sometimes. Even though I shouldn't be this way, I have always thought of Becca as my athletic child and Cameron as my smart child. I was quite surprised when she immediately picked her name on her cubby and she has really started to do a lot of environmental reading. Just recently she has started to draw people- they have a head, hair, legs, eyes, a mouth, arms, and, most importantly to her, a bum. She has started to draw a couple of letters. She can draw "B" and "E" in her name. They look a little interesting, but you can tell what they are.

Tuesday is her first day of school- and for a brief (all too brief I am sure) moment I will be all alone. Knowing me, I will cry. Well, not the whole time. The mall opens at 10! :)

31 August 2006

I am pretty sure this violates some child labor law.

Since we had no rain for so long and then it rained constantly for 3 days we ended up with grass that was really long. Last night David headed out to mow and the kids wanted to play outside so I sent them out with him. hee hee

I look out the back door and this is what I see-an 8 year old mowing the yard. David helped him with the turns and supervised from a very close distance the whole time, but Cameron mowed a pretty big part of the back yard. He is now cooking up plans to mow for money. I think it will be a couple more years before I allow that, and by that time the urge to mow will have more than passed him by.

When I picked him up from school today the first thing he said was "Hey! It rained this afternoon. Do you think the grass has grown enough for me to mow it again?" Like that attitude is going to last! :) Posted by Picasa

One Down, 2 to go-

We got our first butterfly today. This morning the chrysalis was very clear and by the time we got home this afternoon the butterfly was out. When Cameron got home from school we set it free in the backyard. It was a little bit sad to see the butterfly go, but pretty amazing to think that something that was still in the chrysalis this morning was flying like a pro this afternoon.

I am expecting the other 2 tomorrow. Over the course of the afternoon they have darkened and I think they will be out tomorrow.
 Posted by Picasa

30 August 2006

Not much new

Not much has been going on around here lately- this weekend we went to a 40th birthday party and puttered around the downstairs getting rid of things that we don't use anymore. My friend Beth has a 1 year rule- if it hasn't been used in 1 year it leaves the house. I have decided to stick to that plan and have been tossing things left and right. It feels good to get rid of things that we don't need, and as a bonus my house seems bigger as well. I have also decided to follow a holiday plan and spend the next 18 weeks fully deep cleaning my house so that it is finished by Christmas. I might even get Christmas cards sent out this year..... yes, I *can* hear the laughter through the screen.

We had a scary moment at gymnastics today. Becca was swinging on the uneven bars and when the coach reached down to help her swing her feet out better she let go of the bar. She smacked her head, neck, and upper back on the mat below her. The mats were stacked a bit unevenly so that the shorter girls could get up on the bar, so she didn't fall evenly. In true Becca form she got right back up on the bar and tried again. She did cry a bit, but more because she was embarassed than anything else. I was a brave mommy and stayed on the observation deck. I fully trust her gymnastics coach and I know if she thought Becca was really hurt she would have called me down. I figure that between gymnastics and figure skating there will be plenty of times that I just need to sit back and let the coaches take care of the boo boos.

Tomorrow is meet the teacher for preschool. Our first day is next Tuesday. Becca and I had our first shop for new clothes outing today and got a few school outfits. I figure she will take her cousin Emma's place as the best dressed girl in preschool.

I went to parent information night and talked to Cameron's teacher last night. I am so impressed with her. We talked a bit about some of Cameron's struggles and she had quite a few suggestions to help him out. Right now she feels that his motor skills are good enough and that he is on target to pass math timed testing, and we are going to watch to make sure he continues to progress. If he begins to stagnate she will start the process to get him evaluated. She is also going to get a parent volunteer to work one on one with him on conversation skills and try to press him into a leadership position in the classroom. As worried as I was with school starting, I feel he is in good hands.

All in all it has been a good week. Our spider friend is no longer with us- I was reminded by my friend Wendy that spiders gave birth to 600 or so babies at a time and that just because I was calling it a he didn't make it so. The other morning it was still out on it's web and acting strange and I wasn't going to take the 600 offspring chance, so I sent David out to kill it with spray. I felt a little guilty doing it, and I was a little glum for the rest of the day, but I got over it. No butterflies yet, we still have at least 2 days. For as exciting as watching caterpillars was, this stage is dull, dull, dull. Only a few more days.

23 August 2006

Just 10-14 more days.....

and hopefully we will have 3 monarch butterflies. All 3 of our caterpillars are in chrysalis form now. I am happy to not be running all over the neighborhood looking for milkweed anymore. Last night they started hanging around the top of the container, and then this morning they were all hanging in the shape of a "j". In the course of about 2 hours they all shed their blue and yellow exoskeleton and are happy green pods! Some die while in their chrysalis, I hope that won't happen to ours.

I have learned that you can find anything on the internet. There is a site called MonarchWatch.org and it gives you the whole scoop from beginning to end! They have a Monarch garden seed packet that I may order for next year. Then we can do all of this outside! I may even try and get Cameron's school to participate as well. The kids have been so interested in the process and have loved watching the caterpillars grow and change.

I keep trying to take pictures, but they just don't turn out very well. I guess this is just one of those things I will have to remember.

22 August 2006

The sweet taste of success!

We have known for a while that Becca could do a 1 foot glide in skating- she just didn't realize it yet. Her Coach has been holding her back in group lessons, trying everything that she knows just to get her to lift one skate off the ice for 5 seconds. She needs this skill to go on to the next set of lessons so it was really standing in her way.

Today while we were getting skates on, Becca and Amy were having some kind of conversation and Becca said "I *LOVE* chocolate ice cream!" Amy told her that if she did a 1 foot glide her mom would probably buy her chocolate ice cream. I agreed figuring she wouldn't do it and it wouldn't be any big deal. Not only did she do the 1 foot glide, she did it about 10 times. She then went on to put some really good effort into her crossovers, and I think she is on her way to perfecting that skill as well.

Sometimes it frightens me what that girl can accomplish when she decides the time is right.

Oh- I realize that she is eating a hot fudge sundae in the picture- that is what she thinks chocolate ice cream is. I have tried to convince her otherwise, but I decided it just isn't worth the battle at this point. :) Posted by Picasa

21 August 2006

I forgot to update Cameron's school week-

Cameron is not impressed with 3rd grade. I hope that he feels better about it soon. I think with all of the changes it will just take him a while to adjust. I think I am going to talk to his Doctor and with the school to see if we can get him on a 504 plan. The last time he was evaluated he scored 31% deficient in OT/PT, and standard for services is 33%. Asperger's is not considered a qualifying diagnosis for services, and I think his speech has improved enough to keep him out, although if we can get him with a speech diagnosis he would be eligible for OT/PT even though he doesn't qualify for that alone.

I have been very hesitant to offically label my child, particularly if the school district is not going to provide anything beneficial to him. The problem that we seem to have at this point is entirely related to timed testing. The math standard from last year was 30 problems in 90 seconds, first sums to 20 and then subtraction with 90% correct answers. In the previous years he was able to catch up but last year he never even made it through the addition requirement. He knows the answers, he just can't write them that fast. This year math standard starts at 50 addtion in 2 1/2 minutes but I know that they will be on multiplication by the end of the first quarter. They did a practice test of addition, and in 4 mintues he completed all 50 with 100% correct, plus had time to work more complex problems that she had hand written on the board. Subtraction he was still unable to finish, but he did get 40 done wtih 100% of those correct. He did finish the other 10 after the timer turned off. You can see the same problems with his other standardized tests. It just takes him longer to write things.

Apparently you can only get an IEP if the school district is giving services, but you can get a 504 plan when the school is making some consessions to benefit the student (such as time and a half on testing and typed instead of hand written assignments)but no services are involved. He has another Doctor's appointment in a couple of weeks, and I will be contacting his teacher this week to see what she thinks is the best course of action. I just worry that if he starts off the year behind we will really be in a pickle by Christmas.

Welcome to the Wildlife Preserve

I live in the suburbs with 600 houses in my neighborhood- when did I enter a wildlife preserve? In addition to my lovely spider friend (who now has some competition- I thought I was going to see a spider throwdown the other night when a smaller spider ventured onto his web. It was very interesting to watch the way that spider protected his space.) We now have 3 monarch butterfly caterpillars living in an apple juice container on my mantle. When we were outside Friday night David pulled a weed that was growing up the side of our house. the 3 caterpillars were on the underside of the weed- which we now know is a variety of milkweed- and I just didn't have the heart to let them die. Actually they are very beautiful. They are blue and yellow striped and about 3 inches long. We think they are very close to spinning cocoons, but I am starting to wonder. Those things eat an insane amount of milkweed, and what we have is almost gone. In about an hour Saturday night one caterpillar ate a leaf that was a little longer than he was and 3 times as wide. Eric Carle knew what he was talking about when he wrote the Very Hungry Caterpillar! Hopefully there will be updates to their progress.....

When I walked Cameron to his bus this morning there were 2 wild turkeys running around in the yard across the street from me. If I had my camera I would have taken pictures of them. I have never seen wild turkeys before. Let's just say they aren't as cute as monarch butterfly caterpillars.

Last night I went to Starlight to see Rent. It was a fun hockey moms night out. We had decided to meet up at the ice rink and after the show we went back there to get our cars. There we *9* deer in the parking lot. I am a little phobic of deer since the one plowed into the side of David's car a couple of years ago, but it still was neat to see.

Rent was wonderful! We met early and took a tour of Starlight Theater. One of the fundraising directors has a son who plays hockey so we got to go on the donor tour instead of the 15 minute one. It was amazing- not to mention they fed us! We got to see all of Starlight's new construction since 2000, plus we got to go backstage and see (although we didn't get to meet) some of the cast. I even met the BMOC- Bob Rohlf! Yeah, they hit us up for money, but that was a minor detail :). The cast was fabulous and I enjoyed it much more than when I went to see it in 2002. The only thing missing was that idiot Fred Phelps. I guess he has bigger fish to fry now.

We spent most of Saturday cleaning out Becca's room. We hung her pet net and got all her stuffed animals off the floor, and cleaned out all of the baby toys. She is no longer in diapers, and I can barely get her to drink out of a sippy cup anymore. I guess I need to face the fact that she is growing up.

I have a goal of deep cleaning the living room this morning before I head off to gymnastics, so I'd better get moving!

16 August 2006

The first day!

Well, today was the day we have all been waiting for- the first day at our new school! Cameron rode the bus to school this morning and she was early! I only had to make one trip to school this morning because their lunch payment system was down and I needed to take lunch money to school. I love the layout of the new school- they have double doors and the second set of doors is locked so no one can get in without having to go through the office.

I kept myself busy while Cameron was at school with a trip to Costco and our annual first day of school lunch with friends. The day went way too fast and before I knew it I had to go pick Cameron up.

The pick up line was a nightmare! They let the kids out of school 10 minutes late and even though the principal tried to keep it organized it was still a mess. I started out about 15 cars back in line and it took almost 25 minutes to get out of the circle drive in front of the school.

Cameron really hasn't had much to say about his first day yet. Hopefully he will open up more about it by the end of the night. He has a little bit of homework, but nothing too bad.

All in all, I think it was a pretty good first day. Posted by Picasa

14 August 2006

Back to school night

Tonight was our first trip into the new elementary school. We packed and labeled all of the supplies, sharpened the pencils, and headed to school. It was really wierd to go to the new school. Ridgeview was a 2 level school, and this one is all on one level so it seems huge. It really is a beautiful school, although they haven't laid any sod yet so I hope it doesn't rain soon. We have quite a bit of playground equipment that I wasn't expecting. (the other elementary schools in the district haven't opened with anything at all) We have tether ball polls, swings, slides, and a basketball hoop.

Cameron's teacher seems very nice. I have heard really good things about her and we are excited to start a new year. There are a lot of boys that Cameron knows in his class, and a few that he had to his birthday party in June, so at least he is starting with familiar faces. He is very nervous about starting a new year, but hopefully after a couple of days he will be in the swing of things.

We've bought our spirt wear t-shirts, joined the PTA, and dropped off our supplies. I think we have done everything that we need to do to start school. Only 2 more sleeps until the first day. Posted by Picasa

11 August 2006

Gearing up for the weekend!

We went to open gym this morning, the last opportunity that Cameron will have to go for a while. We met some friends there and played for a good 2 hours. It was fun to watch the kids run and play for fun at the gym instead of following the rules for classtime. After open gym we went to lunch with Rachel and her girls, and then headed off for a back to school haircut for Cameron and some clothes shopping.

The big purchase of the day was... A denim jacket circa 1985. Cameron just had to have it. I think it might even be stonewashed! It is so funny for me to see him wearing it. He seems so big to me- I think we are about to move out of the little boy sizes. I bought size 8 shirts for him to wear this fall.

The plan for tonight was supposed to be Papa Murphy's pizza, but I think we are going to have to take some of the clothes back to Old Navy. We may have to head out to the mall- darn! Cameron and Becca will celebrate the last offical weekend of summer with a sleepover and Grandma and Grandpa D's house tomorrow and then we will have a family dinner on Sunday.

I can't believe that Monday is back to school night! Only 5 more days until school starts!!

09 August 2006

Just another day and some skating pictures.

I thought I would post a couple of pictures from skating yesterday. The first 2 are the beginning and end of Becca's backward swizzle (toes kiss, heels kiss, push with your legs) and then one with Coach Amy trying to get that ever elusive 1 foot glide! Becca told me last night that she couldn't go to group lessons because she wasn't tall enough-she is definitely one of the youngest in the class so I guess that really sticks out to her.

Today was a pretty lazy day- we went to gymnastics this afternoon and then came home and played Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. We don't even have anything going on tonight. I think I might make a run to the grocery store all by myself for a change.

It was funny to watch Becca at gymnastics today. They were running an obstacle course where they did 3 forward rolls, crawled under a tunnel, did a cartwheel and
jumped onto a mat. I don't really think of Becca as fast, but she had the fastest time of the day at 15 seconds. The coach was trying to get the girls to beat their previous time, but I am pretty sure Becca doesn't understand what that really means. She is pretty competitive though. Most of all, she really likes to be first- first in a race, first in line- always first.

Poor Cameron is wound tight as can be with the start of school next week. He is upset and scared and his behavior has really gotten to be quite a handful. The saddest part to me is that I don't think he even understands why he feels the way he does. He seems so helpless to try and control it. Right now it is a daily struggle for him. He should really come around by labor day or so. We did run into a little boy today that is going to be in his class, so at least he is going to have a familiar face there.

I guess it is time to start dinner- spaghetti again. If I let Cameron pick he chooses it everytime. One of these days
I will get smart enough to quit asking! Posted by Picasa

08 August 2006

Good Bye Ridgeview

We made our last trip to Ridgeview today. I took tons of pictures of Cameron with his old teachers and some of the office personnel before we left. Here he is with Nick on the front of the school.

I have many wonderful memories of this school. All of the students at Cameron's new school will be former Ridgeview students, and about half of the teachers will come with us so I know that we will bring many of the wonderful Ridgeview traditions.

We have had such a wonderful experience at Ridgeview and I was lucky to have my son at such a great school. Posted by Picasa