Saturday, January 30, 2010
Isaac: in the flesh?!?
me: yeah, that just means like "in person"
Isaac: that's disgusting.
ok, so maybe you had to be there. :)
Have a nice weekend . . .
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Well, for some reason, I can't seem to organize my thoughts enough to write anything significant, so here are some photos of a sledding excursion we did over Christmas break to tide you over. Nobody even asks to go out and play in the snow anymore. We're all pretty much done with it all.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
These past 3 months of cold and ice and snow have been quite sufficient, thank you. I just don't know if I can stand you hanging around for another 2 months or so, really.
Friday, January 22, 2010
We'll just label this as more proof of my memory-collecting neurosis.
I do miss real mail, actually. I really do. I listened to a radio show (on NPR) talking about letter-writing not long ago and the guest was talking about how with letters, our DNA is actually all over the place in hand-written letters, not to mention the personality and moods that come out in handwriting. But the thought of touching the object that the other person was touching, the paper they folded, the stamp they licked; there is a measure of intimacy that is missing in electronic communication. It really is too bad.
Anyway - I can mourn the loss of the past as much as I wish and it doesn't change a thing. I am overly dependent on email and the internet just like the rest of you. But I'll hang onto every shred of my paper past for as long as I can, thank you.
And you can call me whatever you wish.
(and can you tell I am still a little lost in la-la land? yes, well. I guess I'm catching up on the many years that I kept all this boxed up and out of sight. It's a time for digging and delving for me. And I'm ok with that. You just get to join me for the fun! You lucky ducks, you.) :)
(PS the book that was discussed on NPR was Yours Ever: People and their letters by Thomas Mallon - for those interested. I have it on hold at the library, of course.)
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Until today. I was flipping through an old high school journal and glimpsing pieces of "oh how glad I was that this boy called" and "I can't wait to go to this dance" and so on and so on and then . . . I just happened to mention this book I was reading. Lost, by Gary Devon. Hallelujah to my teenage self for writing that down!! YIPPEE!!
So now I can buy it with my swagbucks giftcards and read it again! I can't wait to see if it's worth all the wondering I've done about it. Just. Can't. Wait.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
She was a most welcome guest. I had forgotten how much we've missed her.
Monday, January 18, 2010
No, not new year's resolutions.
It is the time of year when I start agonizing and worrying and wondering and stressing out over where Samuel will be going to school next year.
For those that may not know, my 2 older kids go to a rather "academically challenging" charter school. Class sizes capped at 25 students. Some advantages in many ways. But no self-contained special needs classes. They can only offer specialized "support."
Samuel is at the public school right now in a small group Special Needs Kindergarten class (about 6 kids) because we felt like he couldn't handle being in a regular classroom yet. He kind of shuts down in larger groups. We tried having him go to the mainstream class for just 15 min. of morning circle time for a month or so, but his teacher recommended that he's not quite ready for it yet and would benefit more from participating in the small group circle time where he is gaining confidence and starting to participate more.
So. We have tossed around the idea of having him redo kindergarten in a regular classroom next year, having another year of maturity and speech therapy under his belt. And that could be either at the charter school or the public school. Or he may (????) be ready for a regular 1st grade class, again either at the charter school or public school. But the charter school does a lottery to fill their available spots for students - and this is in FEBRUARY. Which means we need to know by then whether or not we want him to have a spot. And we need to know which grade.
So I'd like to get Samuel's teacher's opinion of where she thinks he would be best placed for next year. But. They tell me they don't make formal placement decisions until around May. So they can only give an unofficial preliminary opinion, and rather reluctantly at that. So frustrating.
Because if she thinks he should be either in a regular kindergarten or 1st grade class, then I feel like he might as well be at the charter school with his siblings. If for some reason, he is going to be in a self-contained class or getting more involved help at the public school, then that would be the best place. grrrrrr. . . . . decisions, decisions.
I am not even sure what the possible options might be. Hopefully the teacher will at least be able to clarify that for me this week when we meet together.
I think there is:
1. an autism class (where he doesn't fit)
2. a learning disabled class (not exactly fit)
3. emotional/behavior issue class (not exactly fit)
It seems we are caught again in this quagmire of feeling like there isn't anywhere that is "best" - he doesn't really fit in any of the options. So we just have to weigh it out and pick the "least bad." Ugh. And I don't think homeschooling would be the best option either, because he really needs specialized help that I am not qualified to provide for him. And besides, I really need a break from his needs sometimes, honestly. He really needs to learn to be with other kids, too.
So anyway - that's on my mind. I am also still struggling somewhat to get my mind to come back to earth from all that crazy "flashbacking." I know it seems unbelievably silly. But the back of my mind is still spinning back in 1990 somewhere (give or take a few years). I'm feeling very distracted and fluffy-brained. So if any of you should feel like slapping my face and telling me "snap out of it," I just might appreciate it. I could really use my brain again, should anyone happen to find it hiding from me somewhere. Thanks a bunch . . .
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
We started off with a "Name that Tune" game, taken off my 80's and 90's ipod playlist. And my friend Julie M. won that hands down! She may have been the only person there that even halfway recognized some of the tunes that came up in my randomized list of songs. But it only proves that she and I had excellent taste. Of course. :)
Oh yeah - that's the Electric Slide, all right. We didn't actually have that song - but these ladies were quite impressive, nonetheless. I can't disclose all the various dance moves that came out through the course of the night (circle of trust!) but we did see some sides of some of our neighbors that we truly never suspected!!! It was soooo much fun. I honestly haven't had such fun dancing around since I was probably a teenager. And, admittedly, although we were all sober, some of these girls were consuming a bit more caffeine than usual, I think.
Anyway - for those who might like to take a virtual stroll down musical memory lane, here are some of the fantastic tunes we enjoyed as part of the party, either groups or title names (or were on my list but we didn't get to it):
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
But Zac brought me home flowers and a hazelnut chocolate bar, by my request, and I indulged in a not-so-healthy-but-very-tasty dinner and lemon cake and vanilla ice cream. Yum, yum, yum.
Abigail gave me this picture of a dolphin that she drew, knowing that dolphins are one of my favorites things on this earth. :) And she gave me a little booklet of poems she wrote for me, which was very sweet, entitled "The Best Mom Ever."
Now, how could I say I didn't have a good birthday after getting a gift like that?!
Here's one of the poems:
Some moms kick
some moms hate bunnies
some moms stick to honeybees' honey!
But I know a mom
that's great to me you see
Hip Hip Hooray!
She belongs to me!
Isn't that cute??
Zac and I got to go on a super-date last weekend to celebrate his birthday, my birthday, our anniversary, and any other special occasion we might have missed. We hardly ever get out on "real dates" so this was very exciting for us. My mom came down to babysit for us and we went to see Avatar, which was fun. We shopped at Kohl's with some free Kohl's cash we had. We ate dinner at the Olive Garden. And then we stopped by Target thinking I might get some new mixing bowls for my bday. Well, and we ended up buying me a bookcase instead. :) That's a little bit more fun than mixing bowls, I have to say. And now I have had the enjoyment of rearranging books and deciding what to put where and how to organize them and all of that. I love it. I got some new books for Christmas, you see, and have run out of room on our other shelves. So we justified the bookcase as a sort of "need." Sort of.
Anyway - then Fri. was the girl's night party-party. So stay tuned . . . !!
Monday, January 11, 2010
And this is a creation he has worked on over the course of a few Sundays in church. He seems to really like making the letter E. And it sure is an interesting piece of art, if nothing else. :)
Isaac submitted this little poem he wrote, but he didn't place. I don't think he could feel too bad, though, because he only did it because it was required as an in-class assignment and I really don't think he put his best effort into it (and he did win before when Abigail didn't). And I'm not quite sure how to feel about the morbid way this toy died by frying in the sun. But I think he was just trying hard to make it rhyme. :)
It was also tough for Isaac because his age group was 3-5th grade, so he was being judged against Abigail's grade as well. It's always harder to be the youngest in the age group.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Well . . . this idea of a flashback party has had me thinking back quite a bit, for better or for worse. And I did some digging through some old boxes of mine, yearbooks, journals, pictures, notes, dried flowers and other such teenage memorabilia (ohhh, brother).
Just for fun, I thought I would share an excerpt from one of my journal entries January 1991. It's rather humorous. And I am disconnecting myself from this poor young girl writing and sharing this from my perspective 20 yrs later and the opinion that I am no longer really this girl at all. Right.
And if you knew me then, try not to read too much into this stuff and try not to remember me from back then. Just enjoy it as some strange character written in a young adult fiction novel. Really. Try it.
"Anyways, I've been sitting here thinking a lot about my birthday (In ONE DAY! I might add). I remember in eighth grade I made up all those neat little fantasies about what I wanted to happen and I ended up crying half the day then spending time and having fun with ____. And then last year, I was with ____ and _____ (mostly ____). But this year is my 16th birthday! Whoa. Something exciting is supposed to happen. I'm supposed to have a party - or do something big - or something, anything.
But I haven't written ____ since our horrid conversation and everytime I think of _____, I feel twisted and uncertain inside. I don't want to have a "party" cuz then it seems that ___ would have to be invited - he truly is a good friend, but, in all honesty, I would not want him there if ____ were going to be there. But would ____ even be there? Would he want to?
. . . . .
Anyways, I suppose my greatest hope has been that someone will throw me a surprise party but what are the chances of that happening? Shall I say, practically non-existent? I think I've wished for that to happen every year but this year I've wanted it the most. Maybe it doesn't happen just because I want it to so much. Maybe you have to make the best things happen for yourself.
Everyone I can think of has had some sort of get-together for their 16th birthday. ____ had her big thing at my house (which I disliked muchly). ____ had a little group of us and we ended up going ____ and seeing _____. _____ had a party at _____. And I am doing NUTTIN'!
--------------------------------------------- THE END
Well, and it did turn out that most of my closest friends forgot my birthday that year, after all. It was sort of awful. Oh well. Yes, woe is me. Pitiful, isn't it.
But - my favorite line from this entry is as follows:
"Maybe you have to make the best things happen for yourself."
And that, my friends, is why I find myself nearly 20 yrs later, throwing myself a party. Better late than never. :)
POSTSCRIPT: The party last night was awesome. I will blog about it later. Although I guess I will have to think about what to censure so no one hates me for revealing anything. Hahaha!!! :)
Good times, good times.
More later, to be sure. . . . Have a Happy Saturday!
Monday, January 4, 2010
So here are some pictures. This would be his 3rd recital (except last year he was running a high fever and couldn't go). He did a really great job and has improved so much. He played an arrangement of "Ode to Joy" and "Joy to the World" and it's so great to hear him playing songs that we recognize!! :)
He even played while we sang along on Christmas Eve.
This is a group shot of the students (Isaac is on the right in the black vest).
Here he is introducing his pieces:
Something about this has struck a strange chord in me lately and as I read this book to my kids recently, it described exactly how I want to feel about my birthday this year.
Allow me to quote:
"If we didn't have birthdays, you wouldn't be you.
If you'd never been born, well then what would you do?
If you'd never been born, well then what would you be?
You might be a fish! Or a toad in a tree!
You might be a doorknob! Or three baked potatoes!
You might be a bag full of hard green tomatoes.
Or worse than all that . . . Why, you might be a WASN'T!
A Wasn't has no fun at all. No, he doesn't.
A Wasn't just isn't. He just isn't present.
But you . . . You ARE YOU! And now, isn't that pleasant!"
"Today you are you! That is truer than true!
There is no one alive who is you-er than you!
Shout loud, "I am lucky to be what I am!
Thank goodness I'm not just a clam or a ham
Or a dusty old jar of sour gooseberry jam!
I am what I am! That's a great thing to be!
If I say so myself, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!"
I will sadly admit that I haven't always felt this way on my birthdays. But, I figure since I'm very quickly riding the slippery slope down to 40, I may as well embrace what I am today and be happy about it. I am even very slowly learning to accept all of the other "me's" I have been throughout my life (remember my trauma last year over being embarrassed by some of my teenage self?). I think I'm over it. Finally.
Yes, 20 years later, I think I might be able to show you what I looked like, and listened to, and what a goofy crazy hormonal mess of a 15 year old I was, without blushing. Maybe.
And perhaps it is with this goal of embracing my teenage self right alongside my current self that I have decided to throw myself a party (yes indeed! And you are all invited to come - ladies, that is. Friday 7 pm at my house)! I have dubbed it a 1990 flashback party (basically because the music I still enjoy the most comes from the 80's and 90's). As I thought about it, there were a lot of great things about being 15 (I had soo much ENERGY, for one!!). And while I don't necessarily endorse always acting at the maturity level of a 15 yr old (heaven help us!) - I think for this one night at least I am going to try to throw away all these strange (self-imposed) expectations of how an upstanding, grown up, responsible mother of 4 children (who is 35!) should act and behave. And . . . I'm going to have a party to celebrate. Care to join me?!?
More Dr Seuss:
"Now, by Horseback and Bird-back and Hiffer-back, too,
Come Your Friends! All your friends! From all over Katroo!
And the Birthday Pal-alace heats up with hot friends
And your party goes on!
On and on
Till it ends."
Sunday, January 3, 2010
So, with Elisabeth now being 3, today was her first day in the Sunbeam class. She went to class happily, glancing back to wave to Samuel sitting with the kids his age in his class, and then came home and announced to me that she was a "big kid" now. I suppose she really is. It is hard for me to see sometimes, because she is still the "baby." Sometimes I am really surprised at how big she is getting.
On Friday, when my mom babysat the kids for us, she asked Elisabeth if she was going to go to Primary this Sunday. Elisabeth replied, "yes, I going to be a Sunbeam." And then she paused and asked, "does that mean I not be [Elisabeth] anymore?!"
silly silly. :)
At least we can always know that no matter how big she gets, she will always be our little Elisabeth. At least that never changes.
Friday, January 1, 2010
Happy New Year everyone!
Isaac and Abigail stayed up late playing games with me and Zac last night. We played Mastermind, Parcheesi, Phase 10, Apples to Apples, Jr. and a few rounds of MarioCart (we're such party animals). Isaac went to bed around 11. Abigail lasted until 12 when we ran outside and banged pots and pans. Of course, she was still up by 8 am this morning and is so grumpy I don't know if we'll be able to stand her. Oh well.
Hope 2010 is off to a good start for all of you, as well! :)