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. :)