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 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. :)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lunch with the fireman

As I mentioned before Aidan has joined the scouts this year. The first graders are the "Tiger Den" and part of the Tiger Den requirements are to do something called "go and see its". These are basically field trips in the community to learn about the community and they have to complete a certain amount over the course of the year. This weekend they did a "go and see it" to the fire station. We bought the firemen lunch so we got to have lunch with them too! It was exciting and fun for the kids AND the adults ( have I mentioned that I LOVE a man in uniform. lol!) They were extremely nice and hospitable. Our kiddos learned a lot :)  I took some pictures but the ones I posted are basically the back of heads as I did not have permission from the other parents to post on the web.
At their Den meeting this week they made a card to present to the firemen. Presenting the thank you card.
 Aidan discussing "stop, drop, and roll" only he accidentally said "stop, dunk, and roll"
 Rolling around the floor with the firemen to demonstrate " stop, drop, and roll"
 He was REALLY into it.
 just because I think the firemen are cute.... Not really they are demonstrating the gear they have to wear.
 In full gear and getting ready to get attacked but some tigers....
 The thank you card we made....
 lunch with the firemen...
 Aidan is surprising me and actually eating pizza these days. He is still a really picky eater. I got tired of arguing with him in the morning about eating breakfast so I have been making him smoothies for the past 3 weeks. He drinks them with NO complaints! Score!

 This picture cracks me up because it reminds me of a duck and his ducklings. lol.

 The boys were so good and listening intently at everything he had to say. Here he was showing them their exercise room and talking to them about working out.
I love this picture of Aidan standing there listening with his hands in his pocket. :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Feeling Blah

It is that time of year again. My favorite season of the year- fall. However, it's also the time of year when I feel homesick for West Virginia. Fall just isn't the same in California as it is in West Virginia. There are no brightly colored leaves, cool fall weather, big football games ( as far as I am concerned), or crispy leaves to step on. I also miss my family and friends back east. Don't get me wrong I LOVE San Diego, the ocean, the near perfect weather year round, the cloudless skies, etc.... and am so thankful but I just would like to have a weekend at "home". Just feeling blah today.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

1st lost tooth

It finally happened! The moment that Aidan has been looking forward to for 2 years! The first lost tooth! He discovered a couple of weeks ago that he finally had a loose tooth. He wiggled, and wiggled, and wiggled it. However, that sucker stayed in there. He even wanted his dad to pull it but his dad said "No, its not ready." Finally yesterday at school it fell out. I have yet to get a straight story as to HOW it fell out. They gave him a cute tooth shaped necklace and locket at school to bring it home and the tooth fairy made her first trip to our house last night. She left 5 bucks and a letter congratulating him on his first lost tooth. :)
 locket from school....
 Aidan's tooth fairy pillow and my little pillow from when I was a kid. He put the tooth in the little pillow and then put it in the pocket.
He came running into our room before dawn with his "prize" so no pictures. He then promptly fell back asleep in our bed.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cub Scouts

This year we are testing out some new activities, one of which is the Cub Scouts. Aidan was very excited to get his new uniform. He was in his first parade over the weekend He rode his new scooter that he bought with some birthday money from his Grandma Helen in Australia. Clinton was able to walk with him while I watched from the sidelines with friends. It was  90 degrees outside and he was a sweaty mess when he was done! When I went to wash his uniform he said " No don't wash my patches off!" Lol.! He has his first Den meeting tomorrow so it will be interesting to see how it goes.
All the scouts decorated their bikes and scooters
 This was when he first spotted me and his friend Connor!
 There he goes....

 sweaty mess...


Sunday, September 8, 2013

1st day of 1st grade and 6 year old checkup

School started for us a few weeks ago. It was such a different experience than last year as last year was just a sea of unknowns. Last year was our first year of Montessori at a new school and I was just unsure if we were making the right choice. I felt in my heart that the school was good but wasn't sure how Aidan would do in a Montessori setting. Fast forward one year.... This year I ran the whole range of emotions. I woke up happy and singing to the tune of " Its the most wonderful time of the year" ( kind of like that Target commercial last year where the mom is taking the kids back to school shopping. lol!) I was excited and so was Aidan! As I dropped him off I felt a sense of pride wash over me. He is no longer dropped off at the front door and has to cross the crosswalk by himself. This is kind of a big deal for him and just shows that he is becoming more and more independent and doesn't need ole mom as much anymore. *sniff* As I watched him cross the crosswalk by himself and walk himself to his classroom I began to tear up a little ( nothing like the boo hoo's of last year but tear up none the less). I was happy that he was met with hugs of familiar faces ( no less than hugs from 3 different people :) ) I know that he is in a great school where people know and love him. I know that he will be well looked after and that he will be safe. This in itself is worth its weight in gold. I think it is important to feel confident in the place where your child will be for 6 1/2 hours  a day. I think it is important to feel confident in the adults that are there molding his mind!. I love that he is in a small setting and that virtually all the teachers know him by name. This is comforting.
 I  also love that when I had a near panic attack a few weeks before school started  I was able to call the director of the school on her cell phone and she was able to talk me off of the ledge. lol.. I was a little uneasy about this year because it is a big move up for Aidan. He is now in a classroom with 49 other kids grades 1 through 3. There are 5 teachers in the room but I was still concerned that he would be overlooked. He has gone from being one of the oldest kids to being one of the youngest. I was also concerned with the classroom itself. They demolished the building that was to be his room because they are building a brand new building. However it turns out the room he is in now is better than the one that was demolished.
So far so good and he comes home from school every day happy and exhausted. I have had 1 mini conference so far with his teacher just to check in to see if he is transitioning ok. She is amazing and has a son that is adopted too! She understands some of Aidan's sensory challenges so I couldn't ask for a better placement!
This past week we also had Aidan's 6 year old check up. Everything looks great. He is now 48 1/2 inches tall and weighs 46 pounds. He is in the 92% for height and 50% for weight. At least the boy is consistent. These are the percentiles he has been in since he was born. :)
When I grow up I want to be a celebrity! 1st day of 1st grade
 New lunch box for 1st grade
 1st day of preschool, 1st day of kindergarten, and 1st day of 1st grade
 crossing the crosswalk.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Aidans 6th Beyblade/Science birthday blowout!

Aidan is known to start planning his birthday parties 6 months in advance. He decides the theme, where he wants to have it, and the guest list. This year he decided on a Beyblade theme and to also do some Science experiments! I had my work cut out for me but I LOVE planning parties so it was a fun challenge for me. His teacher Jennifer does entertainment at birthday parties as a side business so of course we had to have her there! I told her my ideas and she did a great job entertaining the kids. They all just love her.
This was the day before his birthday and the last day of Vacation Bible School. I let him open his presents early. He is REALLY into Monopoly these days and was wanting Monopoly Millionaire. He also ended up purchasing 2 other Monopoly games with the money he got for his birthday.
 His first Super Soaker Water gun...
 We had his birthday party at a park. Here is the cupcake tower I made.
 and the Beyblade Fast Fuel also know as water.
 Here are the Battle Rules I came up with. Each child was given a VIP Pass for " Aidans Beyblade Birthday". Each time the kids battled best out of 3 and the winner got a sticker on the back of their lanyard. The person with the most stickers at the end of the party was the "Beyblade Champion"
 Aidans personalized birthday shirt. It has a beyblade on it. He is 6 and I STILL can't get away from the personalized shirts. I can't help it. I think they are so cute!

 For those of you who don't know.... These are Beyblades. They are basically spinning tops that come with a launcher. The last one to stop spinning wins the battle.
 Jennifer was the referee during the party...
 I had 3 practice arenas set up where kids could play and practice at anytime and 2 official "battle arenas" where they could battle and win stickers.

 Next the mad scientist made an appearance for some mad science

 I believe this was the exploding soda bottle...

 Yep. Exploding Soda. Everywhere!
 More Science....

 Look how engaged the kids are..... Is it any wonder I love our school and teachers so much.

 back to battling. Even the littlist guests were into it
 Making goop...
 Time to sing....

 Blue icing!
 Boys are so gross. lol
 Beyblade Pinata. It was kind of a dud....
 It was the kind that the kids take turns pulling the strings to pull it open. Aidan went first, and then 2 year old Avery went next and the piƱata opened right up!
 The Official Beyblade Champion! He was so proud of that tiny trophy! :)
 Aidan and Jennifer. What a great party!
 Aidan and his best buddy Connor.