school for Jon

I never have considered PreK before.  It always seemed to me like an option for moms who just wanted a break.  (Judgmental I know!) I mean, I can teach the ABC’s and 123’s, so why pay $1,200 for someone else to do it?  (Seriously that’s what Preschool costs if you don’t opt for the free government program!)  Well it doesn’t happen often (ha) but I was wrong.  I started realizing that one of the reasons I never considered preK was because my first born is one motivated guy.  He is always finding constructive activities to do either independently or with his siblings….puzzles, imaginary play, board games.  He is also a worksheet lover.  Even at 3, he loved to sit and complete those activity books….boy was I deluded!  I had no idea there were “other” kids out there who may not find this kind of learning so grand at the young age of 3.

Speaking of… we have Jon.  Definitely a different breed.  And his world has been all about his brother since birth.  So now that big J is going to “real” school next year, I am feeling for him.  Plus this kid is happy to stare out the window and roll around my living room floor for good stretches of time.  He will be needing some big kid, outside of the home, structured interaction so PreK here we come!  Another factor is that Jon may possibly go to Kindergarten at Jeremiah’s school the following year.  I’d like him to have some exposure to a classroom before he goes from homebound to all day Kindergarten.  Don’t want to think about that yet!!  :(

So I became “that mom” in my search of the right preK.  I actually went and observed a bunch of classrooms.  Wow, I was surprised at how different a classroom can look/feel/run depending on the teacher and program.  Yesterday I was at my last stop and still not satisfied with anything I had previously seen.  Some of my previous criticisms were: teacher being too lax, classroom disorganized, shabby materials, no technology, or worksheet based curriculums.

I guess I unknowingly saved the best for last.  This awesome preK boasted a firm but friendly teacher who knew how to run a classroom.  She used technology on a daily basis and was teaching some pretty high material for 4 year olds!  I was super impressed and other pluses were they had great building security, aides in every room, and lots of sensory and interactive learning materials.  On top of it all, it’s at a church so they use a biblical method for dealing with discipline and it’s free since it is a 4K program through the government.  Yay!

Paperwork is done and I am one happy mama.

another big surprise {brag alert}

When we got home from our March trip we were awaiting a letter in the mail indicating whether Jeremiah had been accepted into the gifted and talented program in our district.  We had heard some great things about the program earlier in the year and gained an interest as we learned the kids were integrated with the general ed classrooms and also that the class stayed together from 2nd to 5th grade (switching teachers each year).  I had traveled with my 1st and 2nd grade as my class moved up and saw firsthand the family that is formed between a class of kids that is with each other for multiple years.  This was a big pro in my book!!  I was also excited about the school being smaller and more “country” especially because I was not thrilled with our neighborhood school which is larger and has a significant reputation for bullying issues.

So the letter came the day after we got back and showed that Jeremiah had been accepted!  We were really excited to learn more about how he did with the testing and what it all meant.  Although I taught for 8 years, I always preferred to work with remedial students and really did not know much about how a GT program works.  So Patrick went to the parent meeting only to be greeted by the principal who said, “Oh you’re Jeremiah’s dad!”  {I guess that was a good thing!}  We found out he was around 2nd/3rd in our district for his math and IQ scores.  WHA????!!!!

We knew he was smart, but did not realize we were raising a genius!  (Well maybe not, but it was still really surprising!)  I feel completely fine in announcing all that because IQ has nothing to do with information retention or your teachers (ie: mom), if you will.  You are born with an IQ that really does not vary much as you age, no matter what you’re experiences or how great your schooling is.  I feel pretty guiltless about this brag report considering we really contributed nothing genetically! ha! :)

So our big J is going off to public school next year!  He will ride the bus there and I will pick him up with our van load in the afternoon.  I am so proud of him and so excited for him to experience “real” school in such an excellent environment.  Yay Jeremiah!

how it’s been

God is really gonna get some glory here, because wow.  This first trimester has just been pretty much a BREEZE.  I was really really NOT wanting to be pregnant anytime between November 2014 and March 2015 and if you do the math IT HAPPENED.  We got pregnant in February and I knew for sure my whole March tour de Florida would be remembered by which toilets I spent the most time in front of.  The thought was depressing, but I figured, well at least I’ll have the help of friends and family while I’m down there miserable!

God just likes to surprise us with the totally unexpected!

As we traveled to Florida (week 6) I began the countdown..just a week or two and I should be out of commission with nausea, vomiting and fatigue.  Week 7 and 8 and 9 came and no vomiting!  A touch of nausea here and there (which weirdly enough was comforting to know that hormones were still doing their jobs in there), but nothing else!  Patrick and I drove back to IL during week 10 and I felt pretty good, other than ravenous hunger stops.

That’s the physical side of things!  Now onto the deeper stuff.  This pregnancy took me longer to get excited about.  “Growing” is the best word I can think of.  It has grown to be an exciting thing, but the reality is having a foster situation going on where we really don’t know the future is hard!  Neither of us are willing to be done with fostering JJ because we’re preggo.  We are committed to him so this doesn’t change things.  It does make it a little more complex though, no?! ;)

I honestly try not to think too much on what will happen October 2015.  I’d rather let God write that story and have learned over the years I’m not in charge of it anyway!!

February 24th

Something pretty exciting happened to us 2/24.  Before I divulge, let me give you an idea of the frayed and beaten state we were in that day.

We were just coming off a weekend of finding out our dog had Lyme’s again, which meant she was dropping presents all over our house because she wouldn’t go outside.  We also had a little boy, T, for respite care over the weekend who ended up projectile vomiting over 6 feet of my couch and carpet.  Not to mention my neighbors daughter went to the ER so we watching her son for the day too.  That put us up to 6 kids under 6.  The odds weren’t with us.

By Monday we had cleaned up a lot of vomit and gotten through an almost mental breakdown, T got picked up, neighbor kid went home, and dog got her meds.  Things were looking up!  An hour after I texted T’s foster mom Tuesday that no one in our house was infected, my daughter vomited all over her bed, which let’s just say had to be combed out because the shampoo wasn’t doing it.  Not much later, JJ decided he didn’t want to be left out so he began projectile vomiting.  If you’ve never seen a baby puke, it’s quite the experience.  It’s like completely unbeknownst to them a waterfall begins pouring from their mouth.  When the waterfall stops, they stare in amazement and begin playing in the puddle.

I digress.

So about this time is when the news hits.  Maybe you’ve guessed it.  We are pregnant.

You might be expecting tears?  Mental anguish?  Denial?

We are sitting on the couch in our basement, no kids, tv on mute, laughing.  Like belly laughing about the hilarity of this news.  I’m pretty sure I smell vomit in my hair still.  The first thing we both said was, “This is a gift.  Thank you God.”  After that we sat in silence for a bit.  Processing, sinking in, accepting with a growing joy.

I type this with a sick a 2 year old laying across me.  JJ is taking his mid morning nap.  The boys will be home soon from ice fishing.  We are blessed.  Again.