Sunday, August 26, 2012

we survived the first week!

We survived the first week of school. I have to honestly say that it was difficult and a  lot of tears were shed ( mine not Aidan lol.)  I am having a hard time with this transition. Work is ok but I don't love it. The kiddos I work with are really sweet ( but challenging each in their own way). I am hoping just to learn as much as I can from them. ;0). One little girl is really sweet. She is nonverbal and communicates through an ipad type machine using her eye gaze. She is mobile but I have to have a hand on her at all times. Working with her is difficult physically but really fascinating. I am fearful that I am going to hurt my back. I really miss my boy and am having a difficult time being away from him. Home schooling is in the back of my mind.

The good news is that Aidan seems to be enjoying school. The full day schedule is wearing him out and he could barely put together a sentence by Friday but he is dirty and sweaty when I pick him up so I figure all is good. I really like his school. I like that it is small and the nurturing feel of it. Everyone on campus seems to already know Aidan by name and say hi to him when they see him. It has a very homey feel and "it takes a village" feel. I am really interested in learning more about Montessori. The feel of the school where I work and the feel of Aidan's school is vastly different. The special ed teachers at my school are wonderful and good teachers but now that I am a mom there are things in the regular ed.classrooms that really bother me. Some of it has to do with the attitude of some of the teachers. When I was out walking around with my student I witnessed a Kindergarten student ask his teacher very innocently to help him with his back pack ( remember this is the FIRST week of school and it was a KINDERGARTEN student). The teacher just barked at him that he was in Kindergarten now and he should do it himself! Luckily our very sweet Assistant Principal was walking by at the time and helped the little boy. It turns out the zipper was stuck and even she had a difficult time with it! I also witnessed a teacher of an older class who had her students walking in line like soldiers with their hands by their sides. I just feel like teachers today have so much on their plate and so much pressure placed on them that they have lost some of the compassion and don't always "hear" when students talk to them.

Well the clothes have been washed, ironed, and put away and lunches have been prepped for the week. We are ready to roll into week 2. Hopefully, this week will be better than last week. Sorry if this post is kind of a downer but it is just where I am at the moment.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Day of Kindergarten

Well Aidan survived his first day of kindergarten and I survived my first day back to work after 5 years! I think school is going to be a big adjustment for him. It is going to take a little while to get used to going every day / all day. I have to put him in after school care for awhile until they hire someone to fill the other position that I quit before I even started ( long story short the same school hired me TWICE). The new position I took is the hours I wanted and slightly more pay. :) When I picked Aidan up from school yesterday he was looking very sad. :(  He was there about 45 minutes longer than the other kids). He was tired, sweaty, dirty, and ready to come home. :( After I talked to him about his day I discovered that they wouldn't let him drink his chocolate milk that I packed in his lunch. The school is super picky about what they let the kids eat. I thought the milk would be ok since it was organic but it turns out they make all the kids drink water at lunch. It would have been nice to have known that before to avoid the disappointment but now we know. Today was a short day for me so I was able to pick him up at the normal dismissal time. He was much happier and he said that he had a fun day! Hurrah! Some first day of school pics....

When I grow up....
 His first day of preschool pic and first day of Kindergarten. Next year I will have this picture blown up and he will hold it up and every year after that. It should make for a really neat Sr. Year photo!
 The lunch box he picked out. I bought this in Gatlinburg Tn at an embroidery place. I was going to get one last year and changed my mind at the last second. When I took him this year he picked out the very same one that he picked out last year! At least he knows what he likes. lol.
 Close up shot.
 Dropping him off.  At this point I started to tear up.
 Waving good bye. At this point there were many tears rolling down my face. I even got a little teary dropping him off today on his SECOND day of school.
 This is how I found Aidan on the first night sleeping in his new bed. When I asked him why he moved from the top bunk to the bottom bunk he said, " Mom there was a sign that said not intended for children under the age of 6". I was a little suspicious so I asked him to show me and sure enough there was a sticker on the top bunk with safety warnings and it said " not intended for children under the age of 6". My smart boy. :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Aidans new digs.....

Come on in and take a look....

 Oh, The Place You'll Go... I love that Dr, Seuss book. I have a copy of it and I had Aidans preschool teachers write in it as I will do with all his teachers and then give it to him at his high school graduation.
 Aidan is really into maps and globes... I threw a bean bag  and rug there to use as a cozy place to read.
 You can't really see the pictures. There is one of he and I and one of him and his dad on the day his adoption was finalized. The big one hanging above is what we used as a "guest book" at his party when we brought him home. The stuffed horse is the one that I bought for him and his birth mom when he was born, so she has one identical to it. :)
 another map...

His desk. I am going to convert his Stokke high chair into a regular chair to use there. His stuffed bears that his dad got him in London, his picture from VBS, his coal train made from West Virginia coal, his piggy bank and Violet. She plays music and he still listens to her every night while he falls asleep. Still my baby. :)
 A picture of the 3 of us and the Australian flag. It is the first thing you see when you walk in the door.

There is a night stand that you can barely see on the left. It has a book on it that my mom recorded for him and a bible that his grandma and grandpa in Australia bought him. See the steps? I thought it would be safer for him to use those instead of the ladder. Each step is a drawer! Talk about storage the kid has now!  About 3 times that of me and his dad combined! He has 14 drawers! Plus 2 in his desk.He went from having NO storage to to much! I think I am going to steal some of his storage space and put some of my stuff in it.:)

There you have it- Aidans new big boy room on the eve of his first day of Kindergarten.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

This past week included as much fun as we could squeeze in! We started with a movie seeing Alvin and the Chipmunks and a trip to the Birch Aquarium. We also spent a day at the beach and Legoland (again).We did a lot of school shopping and shopping for Aidan's new room.

 On Friday Aidan went to meet his teachers and see his new school. Up until now he has talked of being nervous about starting Kindergarten and apprehensive. Meeting his teachers and seeing his school really made him feel more comfortable and he is now excited! I too am feeling more comfortable. They had a session that just included the new parents and the director of the school and a session that included just the new parents and the teacher ( while the kiddos got to play on the playground and meet some new friends :) ) I talked to the teacher about Aidan's Occupational Therapy needs and she was very open and seemed more than willing to accommodate him. The overall atmosphere of the classroom is warm and friendly. The teacher said there are some really sweet boys in the classroom who are Kindergarten age ( there are ages 3 - 6 in his classroom). The boys have been together for 2 years now. She said the families have gotten really close and even vacation together. I am hoping we can get to know other families too and form some really great friendships. I was really starting to second guess my decision to send him to Montessori because our home school is such a great one, but Friday just reinforced my decision. :0)

Since Aidan is going to be a big boy in Kindergarten we decided that it was time for him to have a big boy room! I spent today painting and his new furniture is going to be delivered later. I can't wait to see the finished product! I haven't really had his room "put together" since his nursery. He has been sleeping on a mattress and box springs on the floor ( It made the transition from a toddler bed easier). He also has a hodge podge of furniture and nothing really matches. We bought him a nice bedroom suite with bunk beds and he is beyond excited. He is really into geography, maps, and globes so I am going with that as a theme. I will post pictures later.

Some how I only managed to get pictures this week of  our trip to the aquarium, so here you go.....

  Birch Aquarium in La Jolla Ca
 Playing with the boats.... It teaches locks and dams and how it affects the water flow. This was by far his favorite part.
 Hands on part
 Love this picture of his little hand.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

summer is coming to an end...

In one week Aidan goes off to Kindergarten.:(  I know it sounds so cliche, but I honestly can not believe how sad I feel about this event. I know some moms are excited to see their little ones go off to school but I am feeling extremely sad about it. For the past 5 years raising Aidan has been my "job" and I have treated it like one. I have put everything I have into getting him ready for school and ultimately to be on his own one day. I have taken this whole child rearing thing very seriously. lol. He has been with me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (with the exception of 2 days a week of preschool for the past year and a half). I know sometimes it can feel a little smothering, but honestly I have to say I LOVE it! and  I LOVE being a stay at home mama. If he weren't such a little social butterfly I would seriously consider home schooling him. But alas, I have to do what I think is best for HIM and not me. hmmph! In all seriousness I think he is going to really thrive and I can't wait to see it.  It is going to be a whole different era for us with him being in school all day, every day, and with me working part time ( or maybe full time- I will find out more about this tomorrow). Most of our evenings are also going to be busy with after school activities. He starts karate 2 days a week on Tuesday and he is also starting swim lessons again on Friday. We may also do AWANA's with our church 1 evening a week. It seems like a LOT for a kindergarten kid, so I am going to play it by ear and see how he does with just the 2 activities.

Summer is quickly coming to an end so we need to see how much FUN we can cram into this week. Last week we went to the Zoo and Legoland. 

Our last mommy meet up at the Zoo because we will now be in school. :(  Aidan is standing in front listening intently to our guide. This months event was about monkeys and apes. He remembered from last year that the way you can tell the difference between them is because monkeys have tails and apes do not and was able to answer the questions. These zoo meet ups have been invaluable teaching tools. :) Aidan has learned soooo much! This time he was really into reading the signs that describe each animal. He was especially interested in the part that tells if they are "not threatened", "vulnerable", or "endangered". Our guide used to be a kindergarten teacher and was really impressed with his reading skills. She said, "you have to make sure he gets into a first or second grade reading group." lol. As always we ended with a story time that related to the months theme. We will truly miss these mornings at the zoo. :(

 We also went to Legoland. We started out at the water park, moved on to the spray park ( where the pictures below were taken), and then finished with the rest of the park. Aidan spent 4 hours playing in the water. We saw a total of 4 attractions and 2 shows. He finds something he likes and then spends hours there!

 He kept putting his hat over the water and the pressure from the water would push it up. He thought this was hilarious and I just kept thinking " Hey he is getting some physics in today". lol.

 The "mace" he purchased with some of his birthday money.
 Building cars at "Build and Test"

 We just discovered this place for the first time! ( as many times as we have been to Legoland). He spent 2 hours building  "Heroes". So incidentally we also got some fine motor skills in for the day. ;)

 One of Aidans "Heroes"
 Aidans hero on the left and my hero on the right.
 3 D movie.
 We had a super hero playdate a few weeks ago. The kids made super hero capes out of t shirts. Aidan is really into Star Wars these days.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

5th birthday party

On Sunday we had Aidan's birthday party. We had it over a week late so his dad could be there since he was not getting home until a few days prior. It ended up Clinton's flight was delayed and he arrived home the night before. When he did finally get home he was so sick that he was only able to be at the party for a few minutes. Boo. He is still feeling under the weather and I am hoping Aidan and I stay healthy.

The show still had to go on even though Clinton was sick. It ended up being an awesome party! Everyone had a great time. I attempted to have several different activities so there was something for everyone. The main attraction was a 15 foot water slide. The kids LOOVVED it! I also had riding toys set up, a train table, and a baby pool for the toddlers ( but some of the big kids got in too!) We are so blessed to have such great people in our lives! :)

Yay! My slide has arrived.
 testing it out before the party started.
 The tables....

 Each big kid got a helmet and a pit pass and each toddler got a helmet and bubbles.
 Pit Stop.
 Look how cute the car shaped sandwiches turned out!
 Race Car cake one of my mama friends made. I sent her a picture of what I wanted it and she duplicated it to a tee! I loved it and so did Aidan!

 Sliding at the party...
 Race car craft. Even the boys loved it!

 Train table...

 Relaxing in the baby pool...
 Using Legos to build cars...
 and then race them.

 I love this picture of one of Aidan's buddies.

 Opening gifts. Kids Bop 22. One of his favorite gifts. We have been listening to it in the car for the past 2 days.

 Giving sweet Avery some love. She picked out the mask he is holding.

Love this picture of Emily.

I got many of the ideas I used for the party from Pinterest. I LOOVE Pinterest!