Here it is the third posting of 2015. However, I have not given up entirely and the kids blogs are pretty up to date. BB's 18 month visit has not been posted even though she turned 19 months. However, I haven't taken her for that appointment because of all the stuff that has been going on.
Here's the run down. It's quite long. Read at your own risk...
I was helping Iron Woman with her kiddos this past semester so some of my morning and evenings were busy with 6 kiddos instead of 3. I always thank her for this opportunity because sometimes I get so overwhelmed with three kids (that was THE hardest transition for us) that when I take care of 6 and then go back to 3, it makes three seem quite easy. However, her kids are totally awesome and this morning my middle child S (or Big Sis) was sad that her friend would not be with us all day like she had been. They are a fun group and we enjoyed our time with them.
T had an incredible year in first grade. He started out at or just above grade level. He was placed with a teacher who is known for finding gifted kids as his kindergarten teacher thought he might be displaying some of those traits. After a few weeks in first grade though I was pretty doubtful. I recall the first time I went into the classroom to volunteer (which I did every Tuesday this past school year) I was quite frustrated with how he was completing the assignment. The assignment was to write a paragraph about his bedtime routine. It started out like this, "I take off my tuxedo..." Right there I looked at it and demanded he re-write it. His teacher, seeing our exchange of words, came over. She asked why he would take off his tuxedo and he whispered quietly to both of us, "Because I'm a spy." His teacher simply asked him to continue. Then she spoke with me afterward and explained T did have some qualities of being gifted and I should read into it more and she would help. However, he was only an above average reader and terrible in the handwriting department. She took a chance and moved him into the highest reading group. I think he was the lowest in that group to start out. As the weeks went by his teacher would give me updates when she would see me.
By the time March rolled around she said he went from reading 40 words per minute at the beginning of the year to 200 per minute. His sight words - benchmark is about 150 and he scored 597. His last quarter his average spelling test score was 100%. This may have been in part because his beloved kindergarten teacher would give him a lollipop for every 100% spelling test he brought in. Still - "tsunami" - that's a pretty hard spelling word for a first grader.
School carnival was also a few weeks ago. We had a great time there. Fun family times.
He also had a lead role in the 1st/2nd grade program with about 200 kids (mischievous fly). He also won an award for his reading excellence. One week later he passed his belt test and is now a low level green. I credit a lot of his focus on taekwondo actually. It has taught him how to focus and sometimes I fill find him sitting in silence with his eyes closed and legs crossed meditating. It's quite the sight to see. As far as the gifted stuff? He's flagged to be tested next year. He's somewhat at risk for underachievement because had he not had the amazing teacher he had this year who has certifications in gifted and talented education he may have be labeled an "average student who goofs off". Instead we found out a lot about our child from this teacher. He's a creative thinker which is the total opposite of me. T often lives in his imagination and we are learning to work with that instead of fighting it. Sometimes his imaginary ideas are so real he takes on that persona. Once we were walking down town and he was dressed in full on Captain America gear with his giant shield and everything. Folks would clap and come up to him. His reply, "Citizens, just trying to protect you from villains."
He also finished up with baseball a few weeks ago. Hitting a moving ball is very different than a stationary ball like in t-ball. He ended the year strong with a single hit to center field. He did have one amazing game where he hit two home runs and won the hustle award for game. His kindergarten teacher happen to be there for that game. With his eye issues we're not sure if he will be able to continue with baseball.
In the end - an amazing year for him. Not sure we can ever top it. He had a Nature Ranger day at school which was a field trip. It was great fun and Hubby and I along with Iron Woman (her middle daughter is in T's class) ran a booth on local birds where we also made bird feeders.
Middle child - S or Big Sis - is great. She's been doing dance and gymnastics. She has enjoyed it very much. She loved the recital. I was sad her friend that usually goes to class with us could not be at the recital too but they had a second "family" recital for the girls as a surprise for me. That was great fun, too. I don't have great photos from that but it was a morning I will always remember. (The homemade apple muffins and and raspberry scones were the best, too!) Two recitals, she was a happy girl. She is also just starting level three gymnastics. It's quite a commitment now - 2 hours twice per week. It's a lot for someone not quite 5 1/2 years old but she loves it and is very driven and very detail oriented. Best of all - she is tiny. She's a tiny girl and tends to be the smallest every where she goes (I know the feeling). But at gymnastics, being small is like being tall.
BB just turned 19 months. We've been working hard on potty training but that girl is tough. We think part of it might be related to her kidney issues. However, her urologist did not think it would interfere with her potty training but that might be because she did not realize I'm used to all my kids being out of diapers between 17 and 20 months. We'll see. Next week we are off and doing a stacation so I am hopeful we can work hard to solidify some things. Now we have great days and then a string a not-so-great days. Three steps forward and two back. She is still loving going to Ms. B's or "Mzzz Bzzz" (in a whispered voice) two days per week. We all adore Ms. B so I can understand. Ms. B makes all her own bread products. It has made BB somewhat picky in the break department - nothing store bought for her unless it is masked in a ton of butter! Her speech is really taking off and she is a very proficient climber. As Hubby says, "she's at peak toddler mode right now". Her brother gave her his stuff turtle "Plo" and she sleeps with him and loves on his all the time. Reading, snuggling, and giggling are her favorite activities. Sigh - I weaned her about 2-3 weeks ago, too.
Hubby is great. He loves his job and it is so wonderful for our family with such flexibility to be available for big events like T's program or field trip. It's a very family oriented place. Sometimes S will go in to work with her daddy if he picks her up at gym and needs to finish up a few things at the office. It is so wonderful to see the amazing father he is and the smiles his kids bring to him. His wisdom and calmness help me when I get overwhelmed with everything. I am so grateful for him.
My job is still great. I love my company and the folks I work for and with. All the administrative stuff that has come about due to the health care changes and laws is quite consuming. Sometimes I am so busy asking my "PQRS" questions (yes, that is what it is called) that there is barely any time left for the actual appointment. I did learn to count pollen this year and that has been interesting and fascinating. Our pollen count is published regionally and when someone pulls out their phone app for the pollen count in our area that's us and sometimes that's me. I hope to be working at this same place in 30-40 years I love what I do so much.
Hubby and I are about to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. We went out last weekend to celebrate since we actually had a sitter - a first in a long time. We sat between a couple on a first date and another out celebrating their first anniversary. We declared that although we are tired and beat down from being in the trenches with young kids we are so happy to be where we are at this point in time.
Overall, we are great! We are happy, healthy, and loving our life together.
There's the update. Here are some photos to go along with it.