Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Catching Up!

I checked my blog for the first time in ages. Its been over a year since I have posted. Wow! I know no one is reading any longer but since this blog is for ME, I am going to give an update of the past year.

2nd grade was a challenging year for Aidan. After having some evaluations done I decided it was best to put him back in Occupational Therapy. The poor child struggles and I mean really struggles with hand writing. Enough was enough so I put him in OT twice a week beginning last March. What a difference 7 months makes! I just had his Parent/Teacher conference and was blown away by his journal! He wrote maybe a total of 10 entries last year. The words were so jumbled and poorly formed that you could barely read them. This year he has written in his journal 2 to 3 times a week, has written entire page(s), and the handwriting is legible and nicely spaced!  Sooooo much better. We still have a ways to go but he is progressing nicely! Back in September I also put him in therapeutic horse back riding lessons. This has been a GREAT experience. His confidence has gone through the roof and it is building all of his muscles. I was talking to a mom while Aidan was riding who just happened to be a physical therapist. She said that the riding would even help his handwriting. Score!The best way to describe therapeutic riding is that it is like OT on a horse. I love it! Probably the best improvement I have seen is that Aidan no longer has tantrums when its time to sit down and write. He will just sit and write without a peep!

Sadly on January 2, 2015 we had to put down our sweet sweet Annabelle. They found a mouth tumor last October and she just went down hill from there. She almost made it to 16. I did nothing but spoil her those last few months. We were fortunate to find a vet who came to our house to put her to sleep. I got to hold and comfort her through the entire process until she finally took her last breath. I still think about my best friend just about every day. There will NEVER be another dog like her I had her cremated and she will forever be with me. I thought it would a long time before we got another dog but I only lasted about a week, lol! At the end of January we brought home our new pup Philipa Grace ( we call her Pippa). She is a Cavachon- part King Charles Cavalier and part Bichon. She just turned 1 yesterday and man is she a mess! I mean don't get me wrong I love her but she is like the energizer bunny. She loves to play ALL DAY LONG! She is a bit higher maintenance than what I'm used to but she is super sweet. :)

This past summer we took a summer vacation to Paris and London. We spent 10 days in Paris- Clinton, Aidan, and me. Clinton didn't open his computer once! Hooray! It was so nice to have that family time. We then went to London where Clinton worked. Aidan and I did some site seeing and hung out with him while he worked. Aidan and both fell in love with Paris! He talks about going back all the time!

Aidan grew 2 inches over the summer and has gained 3 pounds since September. That is a big deal for him! I have taken out all artificial colorings and most of gluten out of his diet and I think it has made him start gaining weight.

This is his last year for AWANAS at church. Next year he will go into club 45 which is for our 4th and 5th graders. He is currently taking a break from Chess club but intends on joining again after Christmas. He is also doing cub scouts and his riding lessons. With that and OT twice a week I feel like we have a good balance this year. Not to many activities and not to little. He keeps asking to go back to swim lessons so we will probably start those soon.

No pictures for this post. I am having to use Aidan's computer since mine has been out for repair for the past month! Ill have to post pictures of our vacation to Paris and Pippa when I finally get it back. :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

First Day of Second Grade

Woah! How did that happen? Summer is OVER! Well, at least for us because today was the first day of school. My baby is in second grade! As I took pictures this morning and then was reviewing them to put on Facebook it struck me how my boy has changed so much from the 1st day of first grade. He got a short haircut this weekend so that makes a big difference, but he is much much taller and those baby teeth are now gone as his adult teeth are starting to make their appearance. He is now "OVER" t.v. shows like Doc McStuffins and now prefers to watch the Cartoon Network, which in my opinion is a nightmare. Some of the cartoons these days are horrendous! Gone are the good ole' shenanigans of Scooby Doo ( which still airs on CN). The cartoons are dark and filled with sarcasm and mistreatment of others. After noticing a change in Aidan- with his attitude and how disrespectful he was becoming, we had to say NO to Cartoon Network unless the show was approved by us first.

I want to use this blog to remember Aidan's childhood, so here are some things about him as he goes into 2nd grade....

-He loves playing on his WiiU- Disney Infinity and MarioKart 8 are his favorites!
-He also loves minecraft but I think he enjoys watching Youtube videos of people playing better than actually playing.
-He is currently going through a "No eating phase" and food is just not appealing to him. I give him a Pediasure every night before bed just to get calories into him. His favorite foods are Filet Mignon and Chick Fil A nuggets which I can usually always get him to eat.
-When I asked him this morning what he wanted to be when he grew up he said " A scientist who does Chemistry"
-His favorite subjects are math and science
-He loves going to the pool and really loves water slides.
-He is still as sweet and loving as always. He tells me about 20 times a day that he loves me. He often comes to me for hugs. :)
-He is a sensitive boy and gets his feeling hurt easily
-He is really awesome about thinking of others.
-He is still the sunshine in my life!
 I want to be a Chemist when I grow up.
1st day of preschool, Kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade

Friday, June 13, 2014

Last day of First Grade

Well, it finally struck me..... The urge to blog again! Ha! Let me begin by playing catch up. :) I had surgery October 28 2013 and things went better than expected. I still have to see my oncologist every 6 months for the next 3 years but I am CLEAR and there was no follow up radiation or chemo. required.

We spent Christmas at my moms house in Tn. The holidays seemed better than usual! It was cold and we got just a sprinkle of snow.

We went to Australia with Clinton in March/April. While he worked Aidan and I rented a car and drove around Victoria visiting his family. I had my first experience driving on the opposite side of the road in the opposite side of the car and  I have to say I was quite impressed with myself. :) It was great seeing family and friends. The last week we flew to Sydney for a family vacation. I can't really tell you the last time we went on a family vacation ( maybe Disneyworld when Aidan was 2) it was waaay overdue. Aidan did great on the trip. Coming home is always more difficult than flying there mainly because flying there is always at night.

We are just busy with end of the school year activities. I once again planned the staff appreciation luncheon for Aidan's school and it was a great success! I just love all the teachers and staff at his school. You can tell each and every one of them TRULY care about the kids and love their job. We camped as a family last weekend with Aidan's Cub scout pack. It was Aidan's first time. I have been camping a handful of times but it has been at least 10 years since we last camped. I wasn't feeling the greatest but it was still fun. The camp ground was only about 20 minutes from our house and we loved it. Clinton and I talked about going back as a family.

Today Aidan finished up 1st grade. I know it is so cliché but I really can't believe how big he is getting! According to his fitness info he has grown 3 inches this school year and gained 2 pounds! He is reading chapter books, doing multiplication and just started division, and loves social studies and science! He still really struggles with hand writing and doesn't enjoy it AT ALL and sometimes has a really difficult time focusing in class. He loves being part of the chess club.

This summer Aidan and I are focusing on building our brain highways! When we have underdeveloped lower portions of the brain we have difficulty with many things- focusing, sensory, behavior, etc... You can see more information at www.brainhighways.com. what it generally consists of is going back and doing things to build and connect highways that were not connected during the first year of life. So Aidan and I both spend time every day patterning and creeping. Let me tell you- It is NOT easy! creeping is hard work and my entire body is sore! We are an age of convenience , even for our babies. This means we have a lot of "contraptions" we put them in like car seats, baby swings, etc.... It turns out the only way we can complete our brain development is by spending time of the FLOOR from the time we are newborns. Babies are spending less and less time on the floor these days because parents want to be able to put them in something so they can be hands free to work, do house work, etc.... This is makes total sense but is not good for our children.

Clinton and I are still toying with the idea of becoming foster parents! We have actually completed all of the course work they require and our house has passed inspection. It is a long process and we have only jumped through the first set of hoops. We have many more sets of hoops to jump through before we are given a placement. More about that later.

Here are some pics to catch up on the past 8 months....




 Mom and I at Thanksgiving. She stayed with me for a good 6 weeks when I got sick. Love my mama.
 One of the pics that made our Christmas Card this year.....
 and another one. Us being goofy.
 Aidan learning to play the didgeridoo in Melbourne
 I went on a tour by myself one day while we were in Oz. This is the 12 Apostles on The Great Ocean Road.
 Precious Koala. LOVE them
 At Grandma and Grandpa's house on Philip Island
 Aidan and Grandpa at the Nobbies
 Sweet Cousins!
Aidan with Grandma and Grandpa standing if front of "The green frog" we lovingly named the little car we drove around while we were there.
More Cousins. :)
The Sydney Opera House
Aidan and his teacher
Last day of 1st grade!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bump in the Road

Last Friday I hit a little bump in the road of life. On October 18th I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. I was shocked, devastated, worried, scared, and basically out of my mind for awhile until I reached out to everyone I knew for prayer. A calmness came over me and I knew whatever happened that I would be ok. My mom arrived the very next day ( are moms not the BEST!) There were about 5 days that all I knew was that I had cancer- I didn't know if it had spread, how bad it was or the prognosis. I researched about how to change my diet to assist my body in fighting the cancer. I bought a juicer and Vitamix so I could eat lots of Alkaline foods. I also found a natural Alkaline Spring 30 minutes from my house ( there are only 8 in the country!) I had an MRI last week and met with my surgeon on Wednesday. Praise God! The cancer has not spread and the doctor seems confidant he can get it all with a modified radical hysterectomy which I am having tomorrow. I feel so blessed with the outpouring of love, prayers, and well wishes. The type of cancer I have is very rare for someone my age and they found it during my yearly pap smear. So ladies don't EVER miss your exams. I started another blog so if you want you can follow my journey. It is www.kelleyscourage.blogspot.com I am still asking for prayers for the surgery tomorrow. Pray for me, my surgeon, my mom ( thankfully she is here as Clinton is out of town) and of course sweet Aidan. I have so many friends, members of my church, and even people from Aidan's school that have stepped up and offer assistance with him- I am blessed!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Soccer and Brick or Treat

Its that time of year again. October. Time for all things Halloween and fall. There is always SO many fun things to do this time of year and I wish we had time to do them ALL! Saturday was a busy day for us. Aidan had his first soccer practice, then we attended a birthday party for one of his classmates and ended the day at LEGOLAND for brick or treat with a friend from our Mom's group. We then got up early Sunday morning and went to the early service at church because I was supposed to work with a kiddo at church second service but he didn't end up making it so we just came home and vegged out for the rest of the day.  :)
Aidan is in the 6-8 division and the kids seem so big! He has never played soccer on a team ( just soccer class when he was 3 and 4) so I am a little worried about how he will do. One of our friend's dad is the coach so that makes it a little better.

 Aidan and Coach Cheeseman
Aidan and Connor at Brick or Treat. These two kiddos crack me up. They BOTH declared months ago that they were going to be Beybladers for Halloween. Then they BOTH changed their minds and low and behold when we got to LEGOLAND they BOTH decided to be NINJAS this year for Halloween. The black and red ninja and the green ninja. Two peas in a pod. :)
Legoland was pretty much a zoo so we decided to hit the aquarium...

hitting the trick or treat station in the aquarium... Legoland had trick or treat station all throughout the park. We saw some really CUTE costumes. ;)
 Watching the stingray and shark....
 contemplating touching a starfish....

Sunday, October 13, 2013

USS Midway

Last weekend we were supposed to go to the airshow for the first time but thanks to the government shutdown they canceled it. We were going with one of Aidan's friends from school (who now goes to public school) and his dad. Instead we decided to take the boys to the USS Midway. It's an air craft carrier that has been made into a museum and is one of  San Diego's treasures. I wasn't sure how Aidan would enjoy it but it was a place that I always wanted to visit. I was pleasantly surprised that it was GREAT for kids! It was very "hands on" and the boys got to sit in real planes, helicopters, etc... They got to see what being in the US NAVY and being on a ship would be like. I was really surprised how much nicer the officers facilities were compared to the enlisted! Everything was much nicer. It was a self guided tour using a headset to listen at different stations and was very educational. My favorite part of the ship was the briefing room that the pilots use before they go on their missions. Very interesting. Dylan's dad was in the Navy so he was able to give us even more interesting information.

Aidan and Dylan getting ready to go onto the ship.

 turning every knob and switch that he could get his hands on and there were A LOT of them!

 Playing on one of the helicopters...
They were in there for a good 15 minutes so I sneaked around the corner and got this shot of them. They were deep into imaginative play. lol!

In one of the control rooms... Again flipping every switch and turning every knob he could get his hands on....

 In the brig...
We were able to meet this WWII vet. He was a beach master and was one of the first ones to storm Normandy.. his story is here He is a TRIPLE purple heart recipient! What an honor to meet him.
At the end of the tour the boys took a quiz about the information they heard. Here they are filling out the quiz. Very serious business. lol!
If you are ever in San Diego are looking for an interesting afternoon I would definitely check out the USS Midway museum. It is VERY kid friendly ( although not so much for the elderly due to all the steps) and very educational.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

He is learning his lessons at Montessori

I am a little taken aback by how difficult this transition has been for Aidan in school. Going from the oldest in the class ( 3 year olds - Kindergarten) to the youngest in the class ( 1st - 3rd grade) has been quite the challenge. He was used to younger kids looking up to him and coming to him for questions they had. He was looked up to and he really enjoyed working with the little ones. Now he is " the low man on the totem pole" and he is having to find his way and find where he fits in. Some days he comes home sad and says that he sat by himself at lunch or no one would play with him. When I ask him who he asked to play with it is always one of the 3rd graders or even 4th or 5th graders. I have been encouraging him to ask the other 1st graders to play. It is difficult for him because his 2 best friends left and went to public school this year. As I reflect on his difficulties, I think it is a great life skill he is learning ( although this mama's heart breaks for him at times). Aren't we all just attempting to find our way in this world? Find where we "fit in"? For some people I think this comes naturally... People are raised and never leave the same town where they were born. They find where they "fit in" early in life. There are others of (us) who want and need an adventure in life and need to "test out" different waters. Sometimes our circumstances change- we move, get a new job, have a significant person in our life to die or maybe just become a stay at home mom., and again we are left  "finding our way" Anyway, this is not where I wanted to go with this post....

Back to Montessori and Aidan's transition.... This year there are a new set of expectations and skill sest for the kids. In biding by the philosophy of Maria Montessori the kids are allowed to choose their own activities... However, this DOES NOT mean that they can just play. Every day they have a morning meeting and they each have a goal sheet. They highlight the activities they want to get done for the day and each child is expected to fulfill a minimum amount of goals. As they finish the activities a teacher is to check the child's work and sign it off on their goal sheet. This means the kids are learning invaluable skills- how to self regulate, how to pace themselves, how to focus, how to work with a  partner, how to work within a group, etc....  I feel these are life skills of the utmost importance AND skills that are pretty tough for a 6 year old to learn..... especially MY 6 year old who is extremely smart and has an extremely difficult time focusing. I have no doubt that if my kid were in public school he would be struggling and  REALLY struggling.... He is a mover and doesn't have the patience to sit. He gets bored easily and has sensory issues. I have no doubt that he would be "labeled" in public school. I have no concerns for Aidan academically. Like I said- he is extremely smart and academically I think he will always be ok. However, I am so thankful for Montessori and for the lesson of focus that he is learning. Honestly, it is not going so great in that area but the teachers are patient and gentle yet firm and are working with him. All the kids bring home their goal sheets on Monday from the previous week. My kid ( and a few others) bring theirs home every day. I love this as it gives us a chance to talk about his day, what he was doing other than his work, and what he can do differently next time. We get to do a lot of problem solving ( another critical skill.) I have noticed a trend with his goal sheets- Monday and Tuesday are always great! He starts off with a bang and then by Wednesday or Thursday he is DONE! There were a couple of Thursdays that he had NOTHING signed off on his goal sheet. His teachers last year noticed this trend as well. so on Wednesday morning they always started him out with some "heavy work" such as scrubbing the tables so he could receive some good sensory input and his day went much smoother.  I can't tell you WHY sensory input seems to work so well with him ( something about the proprioceptors and organizing the brain) but it does work. Aidan is taking Taekwando and again we are testing that "focus" thing. It is hard for him to stand and not move unless the instructor tells him to. I have noticed if I let him jump on the trampoline for 10 minutes before we leave ( and receive heavy sensory input) his focus is ON!  I know there are medications out there that help with focus but I am not ready to go down that path... I feel there are to many kids that are medicated these days.

So Aidan's major lessons that he is learning is focus and self regulation. What that boy will be able to create when he pairs focus with his intelligence is anyone's best guess and I can't wait to find out! :)
I am off to bed. Aidan has his first soccer practice and game tomorrow, we also have a birthday party and are going to Brick or Treat tomorrow night at LEGOLAND. What a blessed life I have. :)