Monday, October 17, 2011

Will wonders ever cease? OR They both slept till 7!! 10-16-11

Yesetrday morning I thought I heard talking so I tried to force my eyes open and checked the time. 7 O'CLOCK! I jumped up and immediately wondered was something wrong? The baby hadn't woken me up and Cash hadn't called out, something was wrong! I heard the talking again and ruling out my snoring neighbor I moved towards the door to the boy's room. I saw the light turn on and paused, Cash was out of bed, but again he hadn't called for me. I tip toed to their door and peered through the crack to see Cash swing one leg over the crib rail and hurle himself into the crib with brother who was awake as well. He began to tell his little brother that it was morning now so he needed to take out his pacifier, brother of course did not agree. I watched for a few minutes as they "chatted" and played, then let them know I was awake too and we could go downstairs. I couldn't wait to tell Ryan the fantastic discovery I had made that morning, a memory to last forever.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Open House (or the shoe is on the other foot) 10-6-11

Tonight I had the pleasure (and nervous wreck'dness) of going to Cash's Open House. Now at my Open House the students walk around and show their parents what they have done so far in school. We spend the first few weeks of school making artsy projects to put up and make our room very showy. Cash's Open House is different. It is parents only and you sit in a circle on teeny chairs that remind you maybe you shouldn't have had that extra slice of pizza at dinner. You get advice, suggestions and general information which I like. The teachers type up and post student answers to questions like, what is the best part of pre-school e.t.c. and I had to laugh when I noticed that Cash's answers were often very long, maybe two or three lines of text when other students maybe used a word or two, can you say verbal? I try not to compare Cash's work, writing, art e.t.c. to the other students (okay maybe I end up doing it a little), but you can't help noticing when there are major differences. I didn't notice major differences per say but I did wonder how my parents (at school) feel when I have their child's work up with everyone else's. Is it a postitive?

Answers to the question "What do you like best about pre-school?"

They were completing a seed unit and had tasted different seeds, when asked which seed he liked best he said.......

Pretty definitive I would say!

And on a different note, the boys have loved a new set of trucks they just got and for a moment we even had sharing!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cash Berry Defense Attorney at Law (9-28-11)

When baby Ryan was born we waited for the sibling jealousy to come from Cash and we did just that waited. There was a wonderful selection of books on "How to be a Big Brother" and we had read them from the day we knew I was going to have baby Ryan. It wasn't until later, maybe when he started crawling, walking and touching Cash's things did the jealousy and annoyance begin to show. After a few months of yelling at brother, pushing brother out of the way, and comments that were less than "Bucket Filling" (You have to read the book.) I wondered if Cash would ever like his little brother.

Jump to last Thursday night. It is just the boys and I Sunday through Thursday because Ryan is working the late shift to be home with the boys. Yes, he deserves an award, medal of honor, a nap e.t.c. Here's my thoughts on Stay at Home Moms, you have the hardest job ever and going to work (even as a teacher with 30 students) is not as tough as your job. okay, back to last Thursday. R2 (trying to break away from "Chubs" as a nickname, but don't want to call him baby Ryan either so R2B2 it is) was eating playdo (again) and throwing it on the floor. When I started to scold him Cash jumped in saying "Mom, you don't tell my brother that!"

I was quite surprised and responded, "That's nice of you to defend your brother but eating playdo could make him sick and the floor  messy."

"Well you don't hurt his feelings!" Wow. Cash was worried about his brother's feelings? Maybe he did like his brother after all.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Power of Praise (9-21-11)

I need a bumper sticker that says "Proud Mama!" today.

Both boys spent the summer in a weekly class at The Little Gym and we carried over Cash's Sports class through the winter. At the end of each class one of the teachers comes out and explains what skills they worked on (this week was being a soccer goalie and using polite game playing manners). Teacher Angela is always very positive and honest. If the group had a hard time listening she shares that with us parents and we all secretly hope it wasn't our child. The same goes for the compliments and "good news." One week she shared that "some kids" made home runs and she didn't usually see that at this age, I secretly hoped one of the big hitters was Cash, mostly because he loves hitting the ball over the fence and roof at Grandma's house and I knew he would be proud of himself. Later when I would ask him about it he would nonchalantly say "Yeah, I hit a home run" like it was an everyday occurrence. But this week Teacher Angela made a special point to let me know Cash really set an example with his manners. He said "Good Job" and "Nice Try" to the other kids and encouraged them when they didn't make a goal. I was proud, I was beaming, I was secretly laughing because had Chubs been in his class this conversation would have sounded a lot different. On the way home we shared the news with Grandma who happened to call and left a note for Dad. What I really loved seeing was that just like his home run, Cash wasn't proud of himself or his teacher's comments about his behavior but rather felt that his actions and words were the way things should be, he really hadn't done anything special, he was just being himself.

 All the kiddos love this "Donut" thing at the gym. Cash's class uses it to practice throwing a football, below Ryan's class uses it to climb through.

Ryan received his own round of praise as well this week with a visit from the speech path. We took the summer off from visits through our ESD because Ryan seemed to be doing so well, but after several months of ear infections through the summer, Ryan's hearing was likely not up to par for a while. He proved that he wasn't going to be seen and not heard by the end of her visit. He was mimicking, asking for help, and following directions very well. She mentioned he was making great progress and I was so happy because what parent wants their child to struggle, especially with communication which can be so frustrating for our kids.

As I reflected over Ryan's therapist visit, and Cash's class last night I was reminded that I hadn't yet checked in with all my parents. There is now an item reading "Write Good News Notes" on my work To-Do list. It is so easy to forget when my students are doing so well to pass that on to their parents. Who doesn't like a little Good News?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Lesson from my Son

I have this problem/stumbling block/, call it what you will, but whenever something I am working on does not seem to be "Good Enough" I will often find a reason to move on from said task and spend my time on something else. That happened to my blog way back in April. But, I am finding that my newly found quiet evenings have given way to some extra time and a need to "talk" or write and share the great things my boys are doing, and with no one to share these moments with in the evening until Friday night, here I go again......

Cash sat next to me yesterday with his pen in hand flipping through the pages of an alphabet book. He has about 10 of these books I picked up at Target for a buck each. Some are addition which he is very in to right now, letter writing, object discrimination, and other activities that earn him computer time. He practiced a few B's, moved on and practiced a few Y's, moved on. After a few minutes I asked him what he was looking for and he told me "I want an easy page." I knew that "easy page" really meant a page where he did not make a mistake, where his letters looked very close to the letters already lightly outlined for him as a guide. An easy page. The mom sayings kicked in "We sometimes need to practice to get better." and "Writing letters takes time to learn, look at all the letters you already know!" He didn't respond but rather kept flipping pages determined to find one that suited his needs. He eventually gave up stating that he was very tired and went to find something else to do. Later I thought about how much alike we were. I do the exact same thing, maybe not look for the easy page, but the pages where I will succeed and my letters will not go outside the lines so to speak. I just knew I might as well put those books in the recycling, he wouldn't go back to them, but I was wrong. The next day he would pick up his pen and continue on searching the pages, trying letters that yesterday may have been too hard, and picking up pride along the way in the process. He inspired me to think about things I had given up and should try again, this blog was on of them.

Speaking of writing, when I started back to work I began to leave Cash notes most mornings on this whiteboard not only to let him know his mom is thinking of him but also to hopefully inspire him to write as well. Sure enough after a few mornings I came home to find he had written me back a letter, he read it to me and while I couldn't make most of it out, I did recognize the "Mom" above my Love, Mommy, priceless.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Baby Ryan's 1st Birthday Celebration (2-26-11)

We couldn't be more excited to celebrate baby Ryan's birthday today. He has brought such a new element to our family, he combines so many qualities of myself and Ryan, and he truly is a happy-go-lucky little boy. He had such a rough start and I when I remember those 10 days he spent in the NICU I have a hard time holding back the tears. He seemed so fragile, and helpless. Then, we finally got to bring he home, and we feared we would do something wrong. One year later he is tough as nails, not easily dissuaded, and even his brother gets a run for the money if baby truly wants something. You would never know he had such a trying first few weeks of his life. Happy Birthday Ryan!

Some quiet time with Grandma Severance

Pinata Time!

My mom made me wear this hat!

Cash and Bear - Too Cute!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

T-1 till baby's birthday or a regular Friday night! (2-25-11)

Friday! I love coming home to remind Cash that mommy gets to stay home two days on Fridays. As I ascended the stairs to the living room I could hear giggling, lots of giggling. That usually means someone is hiding and waiting for me to turn the corner. Sure enough......

They were trying to hide together under the blanket but baby kept trying to escape causing a lot of laughter. Too cute, my 3 boys all together in a huddle.

And even though we had below average freezing temps, Cash continued his commonplace practice of playing the Wii in as few clothes as possible. If we look back over this year-long blog I am fairly sure that this will be his usual routine for most activities.